Pearl Basics: How Much Are Your Pearls Worth?
Like other gemstones, there are certain criteria that are applied to pearls to determine their value in the open jewelry market. The things that help determine a pearl’s value is its size, luster, surface, shape and color.
A pearl is measured in millimeters. The bigger the pearl the more valuable the pearl is, generally speaking.
Luster is the natural shine of the pearl’s surface. Luster is created by the oyster according to the amount of present nacre (the substance the oyster uses to coat the surface). The thicker the nacre the more luster that results. Pearls are graded dull, fine and exceptional in terms of luster.
A pearl’s surface can be graded anywhere between exceptional (flawless) to marked (with obvious flaws). Given that natural pearls are created by living things in an uncontrolled environment, you can see why a natural pearl with a flawless skin would be highly valued. It’s just that much more rare.
Contrary to what most people may know, pearls come is a whole array of shapes. They include: round, semi-round, button, circle , semi-baroque, and baroque. Basically, round is circular and as we move toward the other spectrum of baroque, the shape becomes more irregular and less round. Humans tend to love symmetrical objects and so in this case, round is most favored and valuable.
Pearl colors also vary greatly although most people may be familiar with the silver and white varieties. Pearls come in silver, silver pink, white, white pink, golden and white gold.
If you are interested in getting a true value on your pearl jewelry, it is best to bring them into a respected jeweler whose opinion you can trust.