How to Pick Your Pearls:
Today, Pearls come in such a wide range of colors, shapes sizes and price ranges so there is a world of choice. Here's a step by step quick guide to help you choose the right pearls for you.
How do you wear your pearls? Choosing how you wear your pearls can drastically effect the way they look on you.
As Studs & Earrings: Perhaps the most iconic way of wearing pearls are as known as studs. Pearl studs are worn on pierced ears, and usually only feature nothing more than matched pearls. Earrings are usually adorned with more gold and precious stones can be worn on the ear, or hanging from the earlobe.
As a Ring: Pearl rings feature a pearl at the center of attention on the finger. As with all rings, the finger size needs to be measured so that the ring fits securely on the finger.
As Bracelets & Necklaces: Perhaps the most enduring item is a pearl strand in either worn in a bracelet or necklace form in various lengths.
Pearl Color: Depending on your particular color preferences- pearls do exist in natural, non-treated colors to match them.
Historically, white pearls have been the most favored color of pearls due to their classic appeal, wehter formal or casual, white pearls simply go well with everything. White pearls can be found in both the saltwater (Akoya,South Sea) varities of pearl, as well as the more affordable freshwater varities, which means that they are available at a variety of price points.
Black pearls, known either as Black South Sea or Tahitian pearls, are naturally dark also alluring and colorful, as they naturally exhibit a multitude of unique secondary tones that ranging from red to blue. They are typically less costly than that of white or gold South Sea pearls, especially in the small (8-11mm) size ranges, which is perfect for more casual gifting. However, fine quality pearls that exceed (12-14mm+) become quite expensive as they are extremely rare, and are considered to be high-end luxury items.
Naturally colored dark Golden South Sea pearls are also fall into the high end luxury segment of pearl varieties. They are quite costly, especially in larger sizes, due to the rarity of their production, and are usually considered to be statement pieces. However, less intense, yellow or light yellow colors are comparitively more affordable.
Pearl Shapes: Of all pearl shapes, round has traditonally been considered the most valueable due to the "perfection" of the sphereical shape. However, are pearls come in a wide variety of shapes, naturally created by the oyster or mussel, and can take on whimsically different attitudes and that are equally beautiful. (Pearl Shapes) However the rule is- the rounder, the better.
Pearl Sizes: All other quality factors being equal, larger pearls are inherently more rare, and therefore command higher prices. Also its worth understanding that different oysters and mussels have different physical sizes, therefore for example, a 9mm pearl is extremely rare and large from the espresso saucer sized"Akoya" oyster whereas a 9mm "Tahitian pearl" from the Pinctada Margeritifera oyster, large as a dinner plate typrically commonly averages 9mm.
Price Range/Budget: Typically the most important factor in purchase comes down to the price. Freshwater pearls are the most affordable- ranging in price from $ 50 USD to -500 per strand and occasionally higher for extrmely rare, unique freshwater variants such as the pink Kasumiga pearl..
Thier affordable pricepoint is due to both thier abundance, as well as culturing techniques that mean that they can produce over 30 pearls from a single oystyer in a time span of months whearas saltwater counterparts, only produce one pearl a a time in a process that takes years.
After Freshwater Pearls, Akoya / South Sea variant pearls vie for the next tier of price ranges, typically ranging from $250-3000+ per strand. Fine and large sized Saltwater pearls however can reach extrmely high price ranges and can exceed the 3000-10,000 + mark as well, with the largest and finest examples able reaching six figure sums.