Since the ancient Egyptians first started creating jewellery, pearls have become one of the highest true gemstones. Even these days pearls still hold their price thanks to the rarity of “mother nature” generating this form of jewellery.
The prices of pearls after all, have confused many amateur buyers. Not many seem to understand why one strand of pearls could cost them $200, while another similar looking item can cost $40. Just like diamonds, there are many factors that support to the cost of a pearl.
There are two basic types of pearls, those that occur naturally and those that are cultured. Naturally occurring pearls hold an important value due to the rarity of pearls being generated. Of the 7,000 or so species of oysters, only about 30 of those are able to constantly create pearls. For the most part pearls these oysters do create, not many have a round or spherical shape.
Elsewhere in the 19th centaury science discovered a route to create synthetically. These are called cultured pearls. Many of today’s pearl jewellery is made such way. The process involves surgically implanting the agent that causes the process of creating the pearl and generating a farm like environment for their stable of oysters. Even though each variety of oysters designs a different style of pearl, cultured pearls are easily able to create the spherical shape.
It is very hard for the most matured jeweler to choose the difference between natural and cultured pearls. The only real way to tell the difference is through submitting the pearl to an x-ray. A natural pearl will show the internal formations and stages of its growth, while a cultured pearl will have a solid center with no proof of growth. As far as value for your dollar is concerned, a cultured pearl goes a far way since nobody will be able to tell the difference.
The size of the pearl will also have a set on price. In general the size is measured using the diameter of the pearl and expressed in millimeters. Even a millimeter difference could make a 100 percent or more difference in value.
Size also goes hand in hand with the shape of the pearl. The ideal shape should be perfectly round. However, using different shapes can reduce the price of the pearl and in some cases improve the uniqueness of the jewelry. Many of the common shapes are oval, tear dropped or look button like.
Other factors in the price of a pearl are color, luster and its surface. Perfectly the perfect pearl would be silvery white, very reflective and contain no surface blemishes. Although color is a personal preference and pearls come in a range of colors both naturally and syntactically.
In the end though, what actually matters is how the person feels regarding the particular part of jewelry. If the pearls are to be enjoyed rather of an investment factor, than none of the grading rules jewelers use really matter.