South Sea Pearl Value Factors

South Sea Pearl Value Factors

Like other cultured pearls, the value of South Sea pearls and finished jewellery pieces is determined by a variety of value factors. The first and foremost is the appearance of the South Sea pearl.

These factors include color, luster, shape and surface quality.

Next is how well the pearls are matched in a finished jewellery piece. Nacre thickness is also a factor as well.
South Sea Pearls - Pearls Only

South Sea Luser

Another factor in evaluating South Sea pearls is the luster. Luster or shine is how well a pearl reflects incident light. An outstanding luster will have a mirror-like shine and very sharp image reflection. The luster of South Sea culture pearls is a deep inner glow.
South Sea Luster Factor - Pearls Only

South Sea Matching

As different regions produce different sizes and colors, it can take time to match larger and smaller pearls for a full graduated strand.
Jewelers estimate that to find a matched pair for earrings, they will need to sift through 10,000 individual pearls.

As a result there is only a small handful of companies in the world that have access to enough pearls to make an entire matched strand.

The pearls should not be exactly the same but with only a slight, pleasing variance in color. There should be no obvious differences or anomalies.

South Sea Shape

Cultured South Sea pearls are nucleated with round beads. However, less than 20% are round. As a result, the rounder the pearl, the more valuable it is.
South Sea Pearl Factor: Shape - Pearls Only

South Sea Body

The cleanliness of the body or surface of the pearl is also a factor of its value. The cleaner the surface, the more valuable the pearl is.

Pearls are a naturally formed organic gem so some minor surfaces blemishes are perfectly acceptable. Set jewellery should take into account the position of blemishes.
South Sea Pear Factor: Body - Pearls Only

South Sea Size

The size of the pearl effects 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. South Sea pearls average between 12mm to 13mm.

As a result, pearls at or under that size range are more readily available. When the size range increases to 13mm to 14m and subsequent 14mm to 15mm and greater than 16mm ranges, the value increases dramatically. Pearls larger than 20mm are very rare.

South Sea Colors

With respect to golden South Sea pearls, the more saturated the golden color the higher the value.
South Sea Pearl Factor: Color - Pearls Only

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