Understanding the Essential Attributes That Make Pearls a Precious Gem
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Understanding the Essential Attributes That Make Pearls a Precious Gem

You might have often wondered why pearls are exquisite and at the same time a tad bit expensive. Well, this depends on the type of pearl and how valuable it is in the market.

Size and Shape Does Matter in Pearls

If you have ever shopped for pearl jewellery, then you might have come across pearls of different sizes. In the pearl industry, bigger the size, higher will be the price. Large pearls are a rare find and command a high price in the market. If you plan to purchase pearl rings or studs, you can go in for small pearls.

Many of us are in the perception that all pearls are round. A perfectly round shape in pearls is a rare find. Not only these are difficult to culture, you might need to give special attention to such oysters to manifest a round pearl. If you have ever felt a pearl, you might have sensed them being oval, pear shaped or irregular shaped. Click to find here information about the shapes and sizes of different types of pearls.

Another important aspect that one needs to keep in mind when it comes to pearls is its lustre. The brighter and sharper the lustre, the higher is the price. You can broadly classify this into:

  • Excellent – Pearl reflections are bright and sharp
  • Good – Pearl reflections are bright, but not sharp
  • Fair – Pearl reflections are dull and blurred
  • Poor – Pearl reflections are diffused with no shine

Defects to Look Out in Pearls

If you look closely at a pearl, you might find some surface defects. This is quite common, if it is less than 10%. There are specific types of pearls such as the Cortez pearls that come with three grading system for defects.

  • Gem – No defects, completely clean, but priced higher
  • A – Has small minuscule defects
  • B – Has about 5 – 7 defects

When purchasing pearls, look for:

  • Dull or dark spots
  • Knobs or waves
  • Cracks
  • Peel offs
  • Blemishes
  • A part of the nacre missing in the pearls


Ensure that you purchase from genuine pearl dealers. Some pearls might look attractive and genuine on the outside, but on closer inspection, you might find them to be of poor quality.