How To Buy A Pearl Necklace
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Each pearl type has its own pricing tiers, and much like diamonds, you can expect prices to increase exponentially with every millimeter size increase. The price difference between a 7.0-7.5mm Akoya pearl necklace, and a 9.0-9.5mm size is quite large.
Larger pearls require much more time acquiring thicker nacre layers in the host oyster, and the amount of risk, time and labor that goes into culturing a single 15.0mm fine quality South Sea pearl (for example) is quite a lot ...
PurePearls.com uses the A-AAA Grading Scale, which is a simple and straight forward grading system based upon specific percentages for attributes like surface blemishing, luster rating (the sharpness of reflections), color/overtone and shape, among others. The A-AAA scale is used most commonly with Akoya and Freshwater pearls, but also converts easily from the Tahitian and South Sea grading scales.
The deeper and more intense the luster is, the more valuable the pearl. Look for pearls that display reflected light sources as crisp, clean and delineated, with only slight blurring around the edges.
You should also be able to recognize some of your facial features reflected in the surface of the pearl. AAA quality pearls feature the best luster, AA+ quality pearls should have Very High luster and so on.
While Mikimoto definitely does carry beautiful quality pearls, doing a little bit of homework can save you THOUSANDS by avoiding the high premiums charged by luxury brands without sacrificing quality.
Standardized pearl grading Is a myth. There is no defined, recognized system or standard for grading pearls. No two pearl companies in the world grade their pearls in the same way or to the same standard. It's inherently impossible.
I should mention this side note about Akoya pearls. Nearly all Akoya are perfectly round and white, but exotic natural-color blues, silver-blues, golds and irregular baroque shapes exist. These are considered rare and you will have a hard time finding them in a jewelry store.
Fine quality freshwater pearls are almost always sorted in half-millimeter sizes, and this makes a big difference in value. If you were to compare a strand measuring a full 7.0-8.0 mm with a strand measuring 7.5-8 mm (our most popular), the latter would be noticeably larger, shinier and more round.
Tahitians are saltwater pearls grown in a large oyster called the black lip. The large shell has a dark, effervescent color on the inside rim of its shell. The pearls it produces range from 7 mm to 15 mm, and typically exhibit the same, dark exotic colors found on the rim.
There are two types of South Sea pearls: those grown in the silver-lip and those grown in the gold-lip pearl oyster. You guessed it. White and silver South Sea pearls grow in the former and the ultra-valuable gold South Sea pearls in the latter. They make some of the most beautiful and most valuable South Sea pearl necklaces in the world.
Tahitian pearl necklaces are inherently larger pearls. Strands are typically graduated with smaller pearls near the clasp and larger pearls near the center. We import thousands of Tahitian pearls every year and those ranging from 8 mm to 11 mm account for more than 90%. That says something.
Majorica will carry out rethreading, clasp replacement or any other repairs not covered by the guarantee, at the fairest price, provided that the INTERNATIONAL GUARANTEE CERTIFICATE is presented, duly completed. No substantial modifications to the original design will be carried out.Coating will not be changed unless the piece already exists in this form No transformations will be made to pearl necklaces or bracelets.
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Lustrous black Tahiti pearls were once so rare that they were consideredthe 'Pearl of Queens'. Tahitian black pearls have been so highly soughtafter because they are larger, have a more brilliant luster, and roundshapes occur in a higher percentage. Also, far less are produced peroyster than fresh water pearls.
Now that this 'Queen of pearls' is being cultured in the turquoisePolynesian lagoons, you too can have some to cherish. It's rewarding tolearn about types of pearls, and their differences, before buying Tahitian pearl jewelry. You may also want to explore how pearls are made.
The Tahitian system for grading Tahitian black pearls, and other saltwater pearls like South Sea pearls, has been developed by the PolynesianGovernment. It rates them from A to D. Any pearls lower than D are notallowed to be exported and are used to make pearl powder.
Tahiti Pearls vary in color, shape, quality and size.When a farm harvests Tahiti pearls the imperfect ones are rejected. Thepearls are then sorted according to shape, diameter and quality of thesurface coating.
Pearls are arranged according to size by passing them through sieves.They are measured at their narrowest diameter. Most have a diametermeasuring between 8mm and 14mm. A few exceptional ones reach between16mm and 18mm. The largest black pearl diameter recorded was a superb21mm. The largest baroque (26.95mm) can be seen in the Musee de la Perlein Papeete. Pearls exceeding 18mm are rated as 'A' regardless of color.
Although they are called black pearls, Tahiti pearls form with a widerange of predominant body colors. And yes, they are natural. The depthof color is determined by the amount of black pigment an oystersecretes. You can choose from soft gray pearls to deep black ones. Orcolors of brown, blue and green. Muddy colors are unpopular. Usually,the darker the color, the more valuable the pearl.
The varying shades are created by the refraction of light as itpasses through the multitude of pearly layers which act as a prism. Thisis the same principle whereby raindrops passing through light form arainbow.
The body color is usually enriched by at least one overtone. TheTahiti pearls considered most exquisite also have a peacock greenovertone. You can expect to pay twice the price (of a solid black pearl)for those with this greenish luster. Other desirable overtone colorsare blue, silver, gold, pink and aubergine.
Most pearl experts advise that you choose the color that looks best onyou and take into consideration your skin, hair and wardrobe colors.Some recommend you choose what's fashionable in your home country.Because price varies according to color, you will want to factor incost. Eye catching multi-colored strands are popular in FrenchPolynesia.
Round pearls must be an almost perfect sphere with less than 2%variation in diameter measurements. Because pearls grow for 18 months to2 years inside an oyster, it is unusual to have perfectly sphericalnacre. Experienced sellers say that it is rare to have 10% of actualrounds from a crop, and they are usually only about 5% of harvesting.The percentage becomes even less when the heavily blemished ones, thatare unsellable, are removed. This gives you an understanding of whycultured black Tahitian pearls are so valuable.
Semi-round pearls have variations in diameter of greater than2%, but less than 5%, so are slightly imperfect. There are largernumbers of semi-rounds harvested and they can be purchased for muchless. So they are popular for black pearl jewelry, such as a Tahitianpearl necklaces, as slight deviations from round can be concealed.
Semi-baroque pearls are grouped into 4 shapes: oval, pear, drop and button.They must have at least 1 axis of rotation to fit into this category. Drop pearls are a favorite for use in black pearl jewelry.
Baroque pearls have no axis of rotation. Due to theiraffordability, they are appreciated by some jewelers. These manufacturesspecialize in creative designs that integrate fancy baroque shapedpearls into fabulous pieces of Tahitian pearl jewelry.
Ringed or circle pearls have an axis of rotation and exhibitregular rings, streaks or grooves that are perpendicular to the axis. Asa plus, they are imbued with multiple hues of color. 'Ringed pearls'make up 25% to 30% of a pearl farm harvest, so are common. Their pricesare attractive to designers. So they use this feature by setting bandsof precious metal into the grooves of circle pearls, and accent themwith gem stones such as diamonds.
Nacre thicknessBlack pearl jewelry that has a thick coating of nacre can be worn oftenand stay beautiful through time. But if pearls have a thin nacre coatingit will gradually wear away and expose the nucleus shell.
LusterThis is the sheen that reflects light on the pearl'ssurface. When light reflections are bright and sharp, a pearl's lusteris considered high or very high. If light reflections are weak, thepearl's luster is called dull.Tahiti cultured pearls can have a remarkable glossy finish whichradiates warmth, along with a mirror-like sheen. This lustrous finish isprized by many.
Because pearls formed in the natural environment (rather than beinggrafted on farms) have a soft, satin surface, some jewelers prefercultured pearls with less luster. When you look around the Tahiti pearlshops you will see both matte and shiny black pearl jewelery. Be assuredthat like their color, the luster of Tahiti pearls is natural.
Tahiti pearls are so precious that a small pearl of average quality costs about $100 and a round pearl of perfectquality with a diameter of 18mm sells for about $10,000. So it is not surprising that attempts are made to imitate