Types of Pearls and Their Value

White pearls and rose petals

There are many different types of pearls out there and each of them has its specific features that make it wonderful. It’s up to you to decide between perfectly round pearls and elegant baroque pearls, between delicate small pearls or extravagant giant pearls. Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and pearls need to be chosen to best fit their owners, but let us tell you a bit about the main types of pearls so that you can make a better decision.

The jewelry market offers some stunning pearl pieces including all the types of pearls that we described above. So take your time exploring your options, but remember that you can never go wrong with pearls.

Types of Pearls in the World

Freshwater Pearlsfreshwater pearl necklace

Freshwater pearls are the most versatile type available on the market. They come in a wide range of colors, from elegant black to sweet pink and perfect white. But the most interesting fact about them is that they come in very many shapes as well. You can find round Freshwater pearls, but the vast majority of them are baroque-shaped. These are ideal for jewelry because they can be used for very creative pieces, as you can see in the picture below.

Value Factors for Freshwater Pearls

  • Luster – Freshwater pearls have a satin-like luster, which provides them with a very special type of charm.
  • Shape – Naturally round freshwater pearls are quite rare, which makes roundness the key factor in determining the value of this type of pearl.
  • Size – When it comes to the size of a pearl, bigger is always better. The size of freshwater pearls averages around 6mm to 7mm, but they can get as large as 9mm.
  • Pearl Colors – The natural colors that Freshwater pearls come in are white and broad spectrum of pastels, ranging from milky pinks to rich lavender.

Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian pearls are best known for their excellent dark shapes. Black Tahitian pearls are perfectly suited for jewelry because they can be integrated into a wide range of pieces due to their fascinating glow, their metallic tint, and their versatile sizes. While fully black Tahitian pearls are the best-known ones of this variety, their color actually varies between a stunning metallic silver to the color of pure graphite. As for their overtones, these range from cold blues to warm purples and exotic greens.

tahitian pearls

Value Factors for Tahitian Pearls

  • Luster – Tahitian pearls have an excellent luster, as well as an impressive metallic tint that provides them with a unique boldness.
  • Shape – More than 40% of Tahitian pearls are round, which makes them extremely valuable on the jewelry market. But these stunning gems come in a wide range of shapes, including circled ones, drop-shaped ones, and baroque-shaped pearls.
  • Size – The average size of Tahitian pearls ranges between 10mm and 11mm, while the largest size available is 17mm. Paired with their deep dark shades, these factors make Tahitian pearls extremely valuable.
  • Pearl Colors – Tahitian pearls are available in a broad spectrum of deep blacks with metallic overtones. The most popular ones are pistachio, silver, and peacock Tahitian pearls.

Akoya Pearls

Akoya pearls are the classic type of pearl because they are perfectly round and outstandingly elegant. The most popular type of Akoya pearl is the white variety because they are a true symbol of beauty and grace. Due the amazing characteristics of these stunning gems, a demand for dyed Akoya pearls has become increasingly notable on the market. Black Akoya pearls are the most sought after dyed pearls because of their excellent metallic shine.

pearl necklace on black background

Value Factors for Akoya Pearls

  • Luster – This is the most important value factor taken into consideration when assessing Akoya pearls. The better the pearl is able to reflect light, the more valuable it is because it will appear fuller and even rounder as its luster increases.
  • Shape – Akoya pearls are typically nucleated with beautiful round beads. While perfectly round Akoya pearls are regarded as the most valuable ones, the drop-shaped ones are also extremely appreciated because they can be used for amazing jewelry pieces.
  • Size – The average size of Akoya pearls is 6mm to 7mm, but they can get as large as 9mm.
  • Pearl Colors – As we have mentioned, white Akoya pearls are the most valuable ones, but black Akoya pearls, which are dyed, are extremely appreciated and they are a significant competitor for Tahitian pearls.

South Sea Pearls

South Sea pearls are a truly decadent delight because of their impressively large size. These amazing saltwater pearls come in sizes as large as 20mm. They are used to create statement jewelry of the finest quality and they are some of the most sought after organic gems on the market. Aside from their outstanding size, South Sea pearls also have the thickest average nacre of all available pearls.

single pearl pendant

Value Factors for South Sea Pearls

  • Luster – The aragonite platelets in South Sea pearls provide them with a special deep inner glow.
  • Shape – Roundness is the central value factor used to evaluate South Sea pearls. Less than 20% of South Sea pearls are naturally round, which makes those that are perfectly round extremely valuable.
  • Size – Large pearls are extremely rare, and with sizes up to 20mm, South Sea pearls stand out from all the other types of pearls.
  • Pearl Colors – The main types of natural South Sea pearls are golden and white, but due to their unique structure, the color of the pearl can vary according to lighting.

Deciding between these amazing types of pearls is extremely difficult because each of them has its own set of special features that make them absolutely stunning. If you are wondering what are the best pearls for you or for your loved one, we suggest you focus on using these beautiful gems to bring out the best features of the person.

Black pearls can add a touch of mystery to any outfit, and round white pearls are a true symbol of feminine beauty. As for pink and lavender pearls, these are uniquely delicate and they will provide the wearer with an irresistible touch of grace.

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