Global Diamonds is proud to offer you a wide selection of varying sizes, colors, and qualities of pearl jewelry. Our diamond specialists are very knowledgeable and can help introduce you to the fascinating world of pearls.
A natural pearl is formed when a foreign object, such as a grain of sand, accidentally finds its way into an oyster or mollusk. In an effort to heal, the mollusk secrets a crystalline material called nacre which builds layers on the object lodged inside. After a period of time, the layers of nacre appear smooth, hard and luminescent- and a pearl is born!
Natural pearls, formed by the process identified above are very rare, not always round and quite expensive because this process is based on chance.
In the late 1800’s man began working to develop a way to coax oysters and mollusks to make pearls. It was discovered that when an object was implanted carefully a pearl would develop. This process has made it possible for pearls to be accessible by all and given us varying shapes, colors, sizes and qualities.
Pearl quality can vary dramatically, and just like other gemstones, only a tiny percentage are beautiful enough for use in jewelry. Characteristics that contribute to the value of a pearl are luster and nacre thickness, surface, shape, color and size.
Perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable. Baroque pearls, which are asymmetrical in shape, can be lustrous and appealing, and often cost less than round pearls. A clean, smooth, blemish-free surface is also preferred and more valuable.
Cultured pearls can be found in a wide variety of colors- shades from rose to black and everything in between may be created by the oyster or dyed by man. Whatever the color, it should appear to emanate from deep within the pearl.
Millimeter size is how cultured pearls are measured. They can be smaller than one millimeter, as in the case of tiny seed pearls, or as large as twenty millimeters for a big South Sea pearl. As with diamonds, size influences price.
Luster is an important factor in determining the value of a pearl. It is a combination of surface brilliance and glow. The thickness of the iridescent layers surrounding a pearl’s nucleus dramatically affects a pearls luster. This combined with color and size is how a price is valued.
PEARLS AROUND THE WORLD
In addition to quality, pearls are identified and labeled based on their origin:
Cultured in China and Japan. Most known for their luster, Akoya pearls are considered the classic pearl. They are generally white or cream colored with overtone colors of rose, silver or cream. Sizes range from 2 to 11 mm.
Cultivated in mussels in lakes and rivers, these pearls grow in an awesome variety of colors and shapes. These pearls are very affordable.
SOUTH SEA PEARLS
South sea pearls are cultured from the silver or white-lip oyster, primarily in the northern waters of Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. These pearls grow to exceptional size; 10 to 20 mm. These are highly prized and precious.
Tahitian pearls are cultured from the black-lip oyster in the waters of the South Pacific. These pearls come in larger sizes, from 10 to 20 mm, and a variation of colors including black, gray, burgundy, peacock and gold. Mystical and dark, the popularity of Tahitian pearls has surged in recent years, making strands of these pearls one of the most sought-after pieces of jewelry.