Pearl Valuation: A Pearl Buyer’s Guide  

 Pearl Valuation: A Pearl Buyer’s Guide


Understanding how pearls are graded and valued is crucial before making a pearl jewellery purchase. This guide provides information consumers can use to compare and  Eagle and Pearl Jewelers   evaluate pearls and pearl jewellery.

So what is pearl valuation? Simply put, pearl valuation is the term used to describe the quality and value of a pearl or pearl set. It is determined by seven key pearl attributes: type, size, luster, inclusions, shape, matching, and nacre:

Type: – There are many different types of pearls, but the most popular, in order of value, are Freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea.

Size: – Pearls range in size from a couple of millimeters to over 15 millimeters depending on the type. The larger the pearl, the more rare and valuable it is.

Luster – is the brightness or radiance of light from a pearl. A high quality pearl will be brilliant and bright, and you should be able to easily see your own reflection in its surface.

Inclusions – sometimes called blemishes, are imperfections in the surface of the pearl. These may be cracks or bumps in the surface. The fewer imperfections, the greater the quality and value of the pearl.

Shape – pearls come in a number of different shapes including round, off-round, oval, baroque, and ringed. Round pearls are the most desired and valuable.

Matching – the ability of a set of pearls to resemble or harmonize with each other is referred to as matching. The greater the matching, the greater the value of the piece of pearl jewelry. Of course, matching only applies to multi-pearl jewellery.

Nacre – is the layers of aragonite and conchiolin that form around the pearl’s centre. The thicker the nacre, the longer a pearl will typically last.

All of these attributes are used to determine the quality and value of pearls and pearl jewellery. By knowing and understanding these, you are in a better position to know what to look for and what you are purchasing.

Of course, many people ask: “What about the rating?” Most pearl jewelers offer a



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