South Sea pearls are among some of the most sought-after of all pearls available. So, having a South Sea Pearl Pendant means that you need to know its worth well! This is because they are much larger in comparison to what we would class as the average pearl. Plus they have a roundness and smoothness that is exceptional, so you will have something truly extraordinary when you buy a White or Golden South Sea pearl pendant. Read our entire post to find out what are the best features of a South Sea peal and how to take care of your pearl pendant!
The South Sea Pearl Defined
This is the only pearl that is produced by an oyster known as the white-lipped variety. It is far larger in size to the other oysters that produce freshwater or Akoya pearls. As a result of this these molluscs are able to produce pearls that are much bigger in size.
However, this type of oyster is rare and so the cultivation of their pearls becomes a lot harder. So you can imagine that the price of such as used in the creation of a South Sea pearl pendant is much higher.
The majority of the cultivated South Sea pearls come from Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Australia. Also, these are saltwater pearls, which means the process of cultivating them is a lot more labour intensive.
Grading Of South Sea Pearls
There are 6 factors that are taken into consideration when it comes to the grading of the pearl you see in any South Sea pearl pendant designs.
The factors that are considered are as follows:
When it comes to a South Sea pearl pendant there are five different shapes that may be used. These are classified as being round, semi-round, baroque, semi-baroque or circle (ringed) pearls.
The easiest way for a professional tester to determine what shape a pearl is in say a large South Sea pearl pendant like the one below is to roll it across the table.
If it rolls straight across the table they will class this pearl as round. But should it veer off slightly it will be classed as semi-round. A semi-baroque shaped pearl is one that exhibits at least 1 axis of rotation, meaning it can be spun, whereas a baroque pearl cannot be spun at all.
As for those classified as being ringed or circled these types of pearls will have regular rings, grooves or streaks that are horizontal with the axis of rotation. Also such will cover over 33.3% of the surface of the pearl. Generally, you find that over 25 to 30% of all such pearls harvested are of this classification.
All pearls are classified from mm to mm. Only round and semi-round South Sea pearls will be measured across their shortest diameter. Whereas all other shapes of these pearls will be measured across 2 (the shortest and longest ones).
In most cases, you will find that the pearls used in a gold South Sea pearl pendant will measure between 8 and 14 mm. However, there are South Sea pearl pendant designs that include ones measuring between 16 and 18 mm. But the largest recorded to date has measured 20 mm and this one is an exception to the rules.
There tend to be 4 ratings used to determine the surface quality of such South Sea pearls. The grading of the pearls is carried out using the naked eye. The ratings that will be given to these pearls even those used in say a South Sea cultured pearl pendant is as follows:
A – Clean – Are entirely smooth or have very tiny indentations or ripples that appear on less than 10% of the entire surface of the pearl
B – Lightly Blemished – Have a few imperfections that appear on less than 33.3% of the surface of the pearl
C – Moderately Blemished – Have very light imperfections appearing over less than 66.6% of the pearl’s surface
D – Heavily Blemished – These pearls will still have light imperfections in them, but they will cover more than 66.6% of the pearl’s surface. They may even have some deep imperfections over 50% of the surface.
Nothing is classier than a perfect and unblemished white pearl, and all our South Sea Pearls are no exception.
This is another very important factor that is taken into consideration when it comes to grading the quality of the surface of the pearl in any kind of South Sea pearl pendant. But these pearls are actually renowned for having a very high gloss luster.
The four grades given to show the quality of the luster of these pearls is as follows:
AAA – Very High
AA – High
A – Medium
B – Soft
Here you have for example, the Darlene White South Sea Pearl Pendant that has an AAA luster, AAA body and shape, and AAAA nacre. The pearl drop hangs from a 14K yellow gold hook-shaped bail enhanced with a round, clear crystal stone, making this stunner a perfect addition to casual wear, business wear, or formal wear. The Darlene pendant is fun and flirty yet classically charming for every age and makes the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one.
Thickness Of The Nacre
How thick the nacre of a South Sea pearl is can actually have an effect on not only the durability of such pearls, but also their beauty. But when it comes to the pearls used in say a white South Sea pearl pendant you will find that they come with a reputation of having a thick nacre. The reason for this being is that the cultivation period for such gems is very long.
The colour of all South Sea pearls is natural. This is because these pearls are able to take on the colour of the rim of the oyster shell, which has produced it.
Generally, most of the South Sea pearls used today are white, grey, blue, cream or gold in colour. Of course, there are some that will have beautiful overtones such as pink, blue, silver or gold. These overtones sometimes can be present in a number of different combinations. Such is considered to be even more desirable.
Although most people will look for white pearls, some women are looking for something a little more unique and with a discrete sense of luxury. If you want something a little more distinctive then a white South Sea pearl pendant is the perfect choice for you.
Unlike some other South Sea pearls, you will notice that the white ones consist of many different overtones. The colours that you will see are very pleasant and can vary from pink to grey tones. This is a piece of jewelry that will certainly make a statement and will have people asking where you got such a beautiful piece of jewelry from?
At PearlsOnly.com you will find South Sea pearl pendants of various sizes and colors, but we guarantee that each and every one of them will come with a professional appraisal certificate, a free decorative gift box and a special cloth to make sure you can clean it from time to time.
Caring For Your South Sea Pearl Pendant
As you already know because the pearls used in the creation of such pieces of jewelry are valuable they need to be cared for properly.
In fact, all pearls not just South Sea ones are very soft, so they need to be cared for in the correct way.
When it comes to taking care of such items you need to do the following:
After you’ve taken your South Sea pearl pendant off make sure that you place it inside a jewelry pouch. Never just place it inside a jewelry box with other gems as they can cause damage to it.
Although your pearl pendant won’t be coming into contact with your skin constantly, it will over time start to absorb some acid from your skin. If you don’t remove this acid then over time it will slowly eat into the pearl. Not only will the pearl start to lose its luster but you will also notice it won’t stay as round.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to wipe the South Sea pearl with a soft cloth after you’ve worn the pendant. Also, think about wiping it with a soft cloth that has been dipped and then wrung out in some water to which you’ve added a small amount of salt.
If you want to clean your pearl more thoroughly, make sure that you only use a jewelry cleaner that has been labeled as safe to use on pearls.
Should you feel apprehensive about cleaning your pendant yourself then you may want to take it to a jeweler instead. They will have the appropriate cleaning materials to ensure that your large South Sea pearl pendant remains looking as wonderful as the day you first got it.
Other Tips To Prevent Damage To A South Sea Pearl
- Never use an ultrasonic cleaner or steam to clean your pearls.
- Never use a toothbrush or abrasive materials to clean the pearl in your South Sea pearl pendant.
- Take your pendant off before you apply perfume, hairspray or cosmetics.
- Never wear your pearl pendant whilst having a shower or when you go swimming.
- Also, it is a good idea to arrange to have your pendant checked over every 6 months to ensure that it is still securely mounted. Most jewelers will offer to do this for you free of charge.
We hope that you have found the above information from us here at Pearlsonly.com valuable and that will help to ensure that your pendant remains looking amazing and shining not just now, but also in the future.
As we’ve already discussed because these pearls are relatively scarce they are much more expensive to buy. So of course after investing such a great deal of money you don’t want to ruin such a beautiful piece of jewelry. Just spending a short time after wearing your pendant on caring for it will ensure that not only does it retain its beautiful luster, but also it’s shape. Should the pearl start to lose its shape, of course, it will start to become loose in it’s mounting, which could result in it dropping out.
Simply following the steps above with regards to caring for your South Sea pearl pendant will ensure that you have something that will be cherished by you for years to come.