A magnificent Tahitian Pearl Necklace from Assael

A magnificent Tahitian Pearl Necklace from Assael 

Pearls have always been a very classy choice for a distinguished woman to wear around her neck. Shopping for pearls can be tricky, and there is a lot you need to know before purchasing a necklace or set of earrings.

The first thing you need to learn is that “cultured” pearls are in fact real pearls. Today, very few pearls today are all-natural. Cultured, means they are made at an oyster farm by inserting a small piece of shell into an oyster. The oyster then secretes a silky coating around the irritant — layer by layer — until a pearl is formed. With the beautiful varieties that exist on the market, here are a few tips to get you going to finding the ideal string of pearls that you will fall in love with……

Pearl Types

1. South Sea Pearls are a creamy white pearl. They graduate in size, which makes them lay flat against the neck which many women prefer.

2. Akoya Pearls are larger in size, and have more luster, or shine that comes off of them, making them a little bit more expensive. The thicker the nacre, the better the luster.

3. Tahitian Pearls are a big, beautiful grayish, black, or green pearl. These pearls come from a oyster that has black or darker lips.

4 Fresh Water Pearls are the most common pearl, and the most affordable. The reason why they are affordable, is because they are found in abundance.

Some say that Tahitian pearls are the most desired of all the pearls, while other buyers like white, and yet others prefer colored, so it really comes down to preference.

Meranda's Pearls PicksDana Kellin Double Strand of Pearls and Aqua Quartz Pendant Necklace $750 Amazon

What to keep in mind when buying pearlsFound on allaboutpearls.org

How To Have A Skilled Eye For Looking For Pearls:

‘Real’ pearl refers to both natural seawater pearls and farmed (or cultured) pearls, where as fake pearls are often made from glass.

1. Real Pearls Have Imperfections- Imitation pearls are too perfect. They often appear to have the same amount of luster on every part of the surface, and they also appear to have no indents or imperfections to speak of.

  • To find out if a pearl is real, lightly rub the pearl against the front of your tooth (not against the edge, as it will scratch the pearl), if the pearl is natural or cultured, the pearl should feel gritty.
  • Another test is to rub two pearls against each other. When rubbing two pearls together, you should feel a friction between two pearls. If you were to rub 2 plastic together there wouldn’t be any friction between them.
  • Yet another way to determine if a set of pearls is real is to burning the pearls itself with fire, with a lighter. Pearls are fire resistant. They will never melt. But if burn marks do appear on the pearl itself, just rub over the burnt marks and the marks disappear.

2. Round Pearls Are More Expensive– Real pearls, will have different shapes, no two pearls will look alike, and they certainly won’t be identical. A strand of cultured pearls that are perfectly round commands an extremely high price and are very rare. There will always be imperfections in real pearls. Baroque or semi-baroque shaped pearls, meaning slightly out of round to substantially out of round, can be relatively inexpensive.

3. Use A Jeweler’s Loupe When Shopping– Real pearls appear as though they have scales (like a fish) when looked at under a microscope. Genuine pearls are composed of platelets that are made from calcium carbonate known as nacre. The platelets are designed to lay upon one another in a hexagonal pattern, like bricks. This gives a pearl its scaly or maze-like appearance. Use a 30x jeweler’s loupe when shopping. Remember, real pearls look scaly, while fakes will appear grainy.

Meranda's Pearls Picks

Sterling Silver Freshwater Cultured Pearl Chandelier Earrings $121 On Amazon

4. Larger Is More Expensive – What carats are to diamonds, millimeters are to pearls. Size is going to have a major role in the price of the strand of necklace.

5. Real Pearls Will Feel Cold To The Touch– Real pearls are cold to touch for the first couple of seconds before warming up to the skin. Fake plastic pearls, on the other hand will hold the same temperature as the room temperature and you don’t feel the coolness when you touch them.

When buying fake pearls, you can usually identify them by their name: simulated, faux, glass, plastic, resin, artificial, or man made. In a finished necklace or bracelet, real pearls often appear to have knots between each pearl. Real pearls are also more likely to have settings of gold, silver, or platinum. Many buyers will tend to go with brands that are known to be authentic such as Akoya and Mikimoto.

For larger purchases, get what you buy in writing, and get a money-back guarantee in case your pearls turn out to fakes.

Bling Jewelry Graduated South Sea Shell Multi Color Pearl NecklaceBling Jewelry Graduated South Sea Shell Multi Color Pearl Necklace $59 On Amazon

J Brown Jewelers

J Brown Jewelers

Jeweled Bracelet. 6th–7th century Probably made in Constantinople

Jeweled Bracelet. 6th–7th century Probably made in Constantinople. Culture: Byzantine Medium: Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, emerald – Found on metmuseum.org

14k White Gold Round Snow White Pearl and Blue Topaz Earrings

14k White Gold Round Genuine South Sea Pearl and Blue Topaz Earrings, $618.99 Amazon

14k Yellow Gold South Sea Pearl Dangle Earrings with Green Jade

14k Yellow Gold South Sea Pearl Dangle Earrings with Green Jade $698.99 Amazon

Big fish Magazine September 2013 Antigoni Kouloukakou Gitana wears a pearl and crystal necklace from the Elizabeth Taylor Collection.

  Bigfish Publications September 2013 Antigoni Kouloukakou Gitana wears a pearl and crystal necklace from the “Elizabeth Taylor” Collection.

Casual Ways To Wear Pearls Seen In J Crew

How to wear pearls casually, seen through J.Crew

Meranda's Pearls Picks

 

1. Freshwater Cultured Pearl Earrings in Yellow Gold – 14kt – Friction Backs –$53 Amazon

2. Majorica Baroque Simulated Pearl (22 mm) Drop on 18K Gold Vermeil Chain Necklace $165 Amazon

3. 14k Yellow Gold Dyed Green Jadeite and Freshwater Cultured Pearl Strand Bracelet, 7.5″ $68 On Amazon

4. Freshwater Pearl and Faceted Green Onyx Bezel Gold over Silver Clasp Bracelet $54 Amazon

Pearl Fashions

Vogue Magazine Paris August 2012 photographed by Lachlan Bailey, styled by Gèraldine Saglio

Found on lilyandlouie.com, Found on neimanmarcus.com,

14k Yellow Gold Freshwater Chocolate Colored Freshwater Cultured Pearls $115 On Amazon

Malgosia Bela - Vogue Paris August 2012

Malgosia Bela – Vogue Magazine Paris August 2012

Malene Knudsen for Vogue Russia August 2010

Malene Knudsen for Vogue Magazine Russia August 2010

Meranda's Pearls Picks

1. Pearl Earrings – Freshwater Cultured Fixed in Sterling Silver – Friction Backing $31 Amazon

2. 14k Yellow Gold South Sea Pearl Dangle Earrings & Orange Citrine $659 Amazon

3- 7.5mm Round White Pearl Earrings -14k $111 on Amazon

4. 12mm Round White Pearl and Chalcedony Earrings -18k $1739 On Amazon

Meranda's Pearls Picks

1. 11mm Round White Pearl Earrings -18k $1495 Amazon

2. 18k Yellow Gold Round White Pearl Earrings – 12mm $1671 Amazon

3. Pearl Earrings – Lavender Freshwater Cultured Set in Yellow Gold – 14kt $58 Amazon

4. South Sea Cultured Pearl & Carnelian Earrings in Gold – 14kt Yellow – Elegant $499 Amazon

5. Faceted Gemstone Pear Shape Bezel with White Freshwater Cultured Pearl and Gold over Silver Ear Wire Drop Earrings $40 Amazon

6. Gold-Plated White Freshwater Cultured Pearl and Faceted Oval Gemstone Drop Earrings $37 Amazon

How to Choose the Best Pearls

Pearls are very beautiful and popular in the jewelry world. Although they are present in many pieces of jewelry, it can often be hard to know how if you are choosing the best pearls. If you are planning on purchasing some pearls, you should familiarize yourself with them prior to purchase. Learning a little about their origin and characteristics will allow you to choose the best pearls.

The Origin of Pearls

In order to choose the best pearls, you should become a bit familiar with them. First of all, a pearl is formed within the body of an oyster or other small mollusk. This formation takes place when an irritant of some sort enters the mollusk’s body or shell. Whether this irritant is a parasite, a grain of sand, or something else, the mollusk reacts by creating a hard, protective layer of material around it. This protective material is known as nacre and is made up of calcium carbonate. The nacre will continue to grow, layer by layer, until a pearl is formed. Pearls can be found in both freshwater and saltwater mollusks.

Types of Pearls

There are two main types of pearls available. Most pearls on the market today are cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are created and tended to by humans. To form cultured pearls, humans actually place an irritant inside the shell of a mollusk to instigate the pearl growing process. Once the irritant is introduced, the mollusk begins to grow layers of calcium carbonate around it. Natural pearls are the other main type of pearls. They are formed randomly in nature and are much less common than cultured pearls. These pearls are rare because an irritant must lodge itself within the mollusk, instead of a person doing so. Because natural pearls are uncommon, they are much more expensive than cultured pearls. Now that you know a little about pearls, you can learn how to choose the best.

 

Pearls-with-JFK-Jr

Pearls with JFK Jr

Choosing the Best Pearls

The first thing you want to look for when choosing pearls is their luster. Luster is the sheen and iridescence of the pearls’ surface and is determined by how the layers of nacre absorb and reflect light. The better the sheen and iridescence of the pearls, the more high quality they are. Color is another factor to take into consideration when choosing pearls. There are light pearls, which generally come in tones of white and ivory. Light colored pearls can also be found with rose or silver overtones, making them more desirable to many. There are also dark pearls, which are usually black with green or blue overtones. Dark pearls are much rarer than light pearls, which makes them more valuable as well. You should know that pearls can actually be dyed to many colors too. The shape of pearls is also important. The best pearls will be perfectly symmetrical with a smooth surface that is free of imperfections. Symmetrical pearls can be found in various shapes including round, oval, or tear drop. The size of pearls can also make a difference in their value. Larger pearls are obviously harder to grow, making them more scarce and valuable. It should also be known that pearls are graded on their quality and appearance. Because the grading system can vary greatly, it is best to ask your jeweler to find out the details.

The Bottom Line

To choose the best pearls, first examine their luster and ask about their grade. These are the main factors that must be taken into consideration if you want the best pearls. Next, make sure all the pearls on the piece of jewelry are symmetrical and similar in appearance. If you choose colored pearls, be sure to find out their origin. Your budget will also greatly impact the pearls you choose. Cultured pearls are much more common than natural pearls, making them more affordable. If price is no object, you can choose the best natural pearls money can buy.

Now that you know some general information on them, you should be able to choose the best pearls. Just remember to shop around at various jewelers before making a decision. This will allow you to see the many different choices of pearls available.

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