Pearls have been valued for more than four thousand years. This guide will help you to understand the various aspects of a pearl. Pearls are obtained from pearl oysters and in every 10,000 oysters one might find a single Pearl. Due to its rarity and high value cultured pearls are mostly available in the jewelry market.
The body color defines the general color of the pearls. Some of the common pearl colors are white, cream, silver, pink, yellow and black. Some overtone can also be found when light is reflected off the pearl surface. Apparently a pearl might appear white, but when closely observed it shows a pink overtone.
Shape & Size
Round shape in pearls is considered to be of high quality and rare as well. Asymmetrical and non-spherical shapes are considered lower quality. Pearl size depends on its type. Freshwater pearl sizes range from 3.0 - 7.0 mm, Akoya pearls range from 6.0 -8.5 mm, South Sea and Tahitian pearl sizes can be as large as 13 mm.
The shine produced by the pearl is called luster. The substance nacre is created when light is reflected off the surface on tiny layers of calcium carbonate crystals that creates a pearl. If the pearl is larger then it would have more nacre and hence more luster. A 5 mm pearl will definitley have less luster than a 10 mm. Hence bigger the size of the pearl, the more luster it will have.
In the layering process of a pearl, sometimes spots and bubbles appear as the nacre doesn't remain smooth. A pearl with smooth surface is of very high value.