Akoya Pearl Value Factors

Akoya Value Factors

The value of pearl jewellery can vary based on a few value factors. These factors include pearl luster, size, roundness, surface quality, color, and
nacre thickness. For finished pearl jewellery pieces, matching is also very important.

Akoya Luster

The most important factor evaluating Akoya pearls is the luster. Luster or shine is how well a pearl reflects.

A good example is a mirror. An outstanding luster will have a mirror like shine and very sharp image reflection. You can make out your own facial features. A smaller pearl with better luster will appear larger. Also, a more lustrous pearl will appear rounder and blemishes will be less noticeable.
Akoya Value Factors: Luster - Pearls Only

Akoya Body

Another pearl value factor is the cleanliness of the body or surface of the pearl. The more clean the surface, the more valuable the pearl.

Pearls are a naturally formed organic gem so some minor surfaces blemishes are perfectly acceptable.
Akoya Value Factors: Body - Pearls Only

Akoya Size

The size of the pearl also does effect the value. A larger pearl with similar other value factors will be more valuable than a smaller one. However, there is a size range where values increase exponentially.

Akoya pearls average between 6mm to 7mm. As a result, pearls at or under that size range are more readily available.

When the size range increases to 7mm to 8mm and subsequent 8mm to 9mm and greater than 9mm+ ranges, the value increases dramatically.
Akoya Value Factors: Size - Pearls Only

Akoya Shape

Cultured Akoya are nucleated with round beads. These round beads are the foundation for a round pearl.

The rounder the pearl, the more valuable the pearl will be. Some symmetrical shapes such as drops also can command high values as well.
Akoya Value Factors: Shape - Pearls Only

Akoya Nacre

As cultured Akoya are bead nucleated, the nacre thickness and quality
are both important. Colder water and longer culturing times allow for thicker, tighter nacre formation resulting in more lustrous nacre.

Environmental conditions in Japan tend to allow for this type of nacre. Chinese waters allow for an accelerated growth, but at a cost of lower quality nacre.
Akoya Value Factors: Nacre - Pearls Only

Akoya Origin and Certification

Almost a century of experience in culturing and processing make the Japanese cultured Akoya the more valued standard.

In addition, the Japanese pearl industry is regulated by the JPEA.

The Chinese Akoya pearl also has its advantages. The accelerated growth and processing allows for a more affordable pearl.

These two origins produce Akoya options for the jewellery marketplace allowing consumers more choice.
Akoya Value Factors: Origin and Certification - Pearls Only

Akoya Matching

The pearls within an Akoya jewellery piece should be well matched in color and size. There should be no obvious differences or anomalies. For a set the pearls should match within each piece as well as the set as a whole. For example, earrings should match the necklace and bracelet.

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