Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pearl Value-Shape


In general the round pearl is the most valuable pearl shape. This is partly because a well formed round shape is relatively hard to find. Also most people recognize a round chocker of pearls.

A symmetrical pearl also should have well proportion symmetry. The outline should not have irregularities.


Baroque Pearls can have all different shapes; they can be shaped like a cone or a wing. Many times they are formed in the muscle tissue of the mollusk rather than its softer organs. If a pearl looks like it could be round but has an irregular deposit of extra nacre it is classified as a semi-baroque pearl. If all is equal in the valuing a baroque pearl will rank third behind spherical and symmetrical pearls.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pearl Value - Matching

Matching – Pearls are organic and no two will be alike. You often need to look at the design of the piece as many designers intentionally mismatch their pearls. Matched pearls are rated as …

Excellent – The pearls will be drilled in the center and they have a uniform appearance.
Good – The uniformity of the pearls has a minor variation.
Fair – The uniformity of the pearls very noticeable uniformity.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pearl Value - Nacre Quality

Nacre Quality – A thicker nacre does not always guarantee that you will have a better pearl. However, in most instances thicker nacre will also tend to be a more lustrous pearl. If you look at your strand of pearls and they appear to be chalky they probably have thinner nacre. Also rotating your pearl and seeing blinking which is the pearl’s nucleolus showing through is also a sign of thin nacre. If you can look at the end of the pearl around the hole and it you see chipping that shows the bead it is a sign of thin nacre and will probably not be very durable. There are three classifications for nacre quality
Acceptable - The nucleus is not able to be noticed. You might see a very slight blink upon rotating it. The appearance is also not chalky.
Nucleus Visible – The pearl will blink, you will see a flicker of light to dark when rotating. You also see evidence of the bead through the nacre.
Chalky Appearance – The pearl has a whitish appearance and it is dull.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pearl Value- Surface Quality

Surface Quality –Cultured pearls an organic material s they are going to show surface characteristics. This is perfectly normal and there are many different types of irregularities.

Abrasions – These are going to be scratches on the surface that a result of damage to the pearl.
Bump –this is a very small little blister, welt or bulge that is normally very small and does not change the basic shape of the pearl.
Chip – A place on the pearl where there is an opening in the surface.
Crack – This is a fracture in the nature that reaches the surface of the pearl. It can also be a fracture in the nucleus.
Flat – A spherical or symmetrical pearl that has a small flat section. It needs to be too small to change the overall shape of the pearl.
Gap – The nucleus is not covered by nacre in a specific area.
Pit – A small depression or indentation. Looks like a small pinprick. They can be found just as a single or in a group.
Scratch – A depression or thin grove that is in the surface of the pearl.
Spot – An area in the nacre that is either darker, lighter or even more dull that the surrounding areas.
Wrinkle – This can appear as a crease or even a ridge in the surface of the pearl.

For evaluation pearls are divided into four categories.
Clean – A trained person will examine the pearl and find them to be spotless or have a very minute surface characteristic.
Lightly Blemished – The trained person will find minor surface irregularities.
Moderately Blemished – The trained person will find noticeable surface irregularities and characteristics. Heavily Blemished – The trained person will find obvious surface issues. The durability of the pearl might be affected by these blemishes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pearl Value-Luster

Luster-The luster of the pearl is where you find the true beauty of a pearl and is thus its most important value factor. There are four categories of luster that are used when grading pearls.
Exellent – the reflection is distinct and sharp.
Good –Reflections are not as sharp but they are bright. The edges are a bit hazy.
Fair – Reflections are blurred, hazy and weak.
Poor – Your reflection will be dim. Luster is also different for the type of pearl. An akoya will have a very bright-mirror like luster and a South Sea parl will have a satiny soft luster

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pearl Value-Color

Color- A Pearl’s color is the same as anything else we look at color in. It is made of three basic componenents
Hue- the first impression of clor that we see.
Tone – The lightness or darkness of the pearl
Saturation - The intensity of the color.

To really understand the color of a pearl think about anything that nature it is made up of a blend of color. Look at a beautiful flower and it isn’t just a solid color. It is a blend of colors even if all of the same basic color. Pearls are the same. The color of a pearl will have 3 main characteristics.

Bodycolor- This is the dominant color of the pearl that you see overall.
Overtone- This is a translucent color that will appear over a pearl’s surface. It can be more than one color.
Orient- Iridescent, ranbow colors that will shimmer either over or just below the pearl’s surface.

You will see a bodycolor for all pearls but they will not all have an overtone or orient.

There are many trade names that are used for pearls. However, remember that each manuafacturer might have a different take on this name and it is simply for a reference point.
Apricot- These refer to a light pinkish orange Freshwater pearl from China.
Aubergine-A Tahitian cultured pearl that has a dark grayish purple body color.
Golden-This cultured pearl has a strong greenish yellow to orangy yellow color.
Lavender – A Chinese freshwater cultured pearl that is light pinkish purple in color.
Peacock – A Tahitian cultured pearl that has a dark green to gray to blue gray body color. It also has overtones that are rose and purple.
Pistachi – A Tahitian cultured pearl that has a yellowish green to greenish yellow bodycolor.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pearl Value Factors

Size – Pearls are sold in millimeaer sizes and they are usually rounded to the nearest 0.5 mm. As with most gems the larger the pearl generally the more valuable. However, also as with all pearls this can change depending on how all the value factors of the pearl itself work together. Also each type of cultured pearl has a different range of sizes.

Shape- Round pearls are the ones that we think of the most when we think of a pearl. There are many different shapes from tear drops, coins and irregular freeform shapes. There are seven standard shapes although they are by far not all that we see today. These shapes are…
Round- This pearl appears round to our eyes.
Near Round – This pearl is almost round when we look at it. They can be out of round, flattened a bit and even elongated.
Oval –These are symmetrical. They appear rounded but with an oblong shape.
Button- They are symmetrical. These are flattened or slightly flattened in shape. The button can be high-dome or low dome.
Drop –This is a symmetrical rounded pear shaped pearl. It can be long or short.
Semi-baroque – This is a non-symmetrical, slightly irregular oval, off-round button or drop pearls.
Baroque – This is a pearl that is non-symmetrical in shape and has noticeably irregular appearance.

Any shape other than those 7 standard shapes they should be described by their shape, like a cross, a bar or a coin.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pearl Information

Saltwater Cultured Pearls
There are approximately 3 different types of a saltwater cultured pearl.
South SeaThey look very different and each comes from a different type of oyster.

Value Factors- Each type of pearl has its own unique types of ranges for value factors. The total worth of a pearl depends on how all the value factors mix together.
Surface Quality
Nacre Quality