South Sea pearls are considered the most valuable. They are bigger than other types of pearls, generally 10 mm to 15 mm. Some are even bigger – over 20 mm – and some, called baby pearls, are smaller than 10 mm. These pearls, created by South Sea saltwater oysters, take two to four years to form, and have beautiful, unique luster and gorgeous colours, from white, silver, blue or aqua to cream, champagne and deep gold. Only about 30 percent of all South Sea pearls are round so they have more value than the drop-shape or baroque.
First, look for the right type. You can choose wild or cultured pearls, saltwater or freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian, or South Sea. Depending on the type, they will have different average colour, size, and different price. Learning about different pearl types will make the buying process.
Next, choose the right colour.
Pearls have a wide range of natural colours ranging from white, cream, gold and silver to pink, lavender and dark green.
The main pearl colour will vary considerably depending on the overtone, so take it into account choosing your colour.
White pearls may look different depending on their overtone. For example, white pearls with silver overtone may look great on a winter type, paired with silver or white gold jewellery. Rose overtone adds a warm sparkle to white pearls, and it’s a good choice for women with red or silver hair and fair complexion.Rose overtone will flatter your fair skin, too.
Tahitian pearls are often much darker, and their overtone varies from cool silver to rich peacock. Silver overtones can be quite complex as they may contain elements of rose, green or aquamarine as well. Strongly saturated green-blue Tahitian overtones are popular as well and suit many women.
Golden South Sea pearls can have rose, gold, silver, bronze or champagne overtones. Their body colour varies from quite pale to deep gold, considered more valuable. Golden pearls are versatile and look beautiful on almost everyone.
These are only general guidelines as it’s often a matter of personal style and preference. If you not sure how to choose the pearl colour you can ask a colour consultant for help.
Pearl value and price depends on several factors, including its type, size, luster, surface quality, nacre thickness, shape, and colour.
A strand of quality pearls looks classy and sophisticated worn with an elegant dress, but you can also layer them and wear them with a simple top and a pair of your favourite jeans for a smart casual look.
Make sure that you buy quality pearls and they will always look good. By the way, you can get quality that’s affordable, you just have to know what to look for. Remember that some pearls may look stunning because they were bleached, dyed or treated with radiation. Buy from a trustworthy, reputable vendor and avoid bargains that look too good to be true – they usually are.