Pearl Buying Tips When Traveling

P for purity and P for pearl; it has been fascinated to be the most simple but intriguing of all the gems. It is a common knowledge that pearls are made in the womb of oysters and then harvested from there to make modest jewelry designs. However, this process takes its own time and hence as a substitute to their natural availability, pearl is also cultured.  It’s this kind of information that came in handy last month at a St George jeweler, where we had traveled to find the perfect pearl. We will elaborate this later after knowing the basics about its natural formation.

pearlsPhoto Credit: 2roxfox de~LuXe

Natural Pearls

Pearls are considered the simplest gems of all with no intricate cuttings, etc. However, the process of formation of a single pearl naturally is very complicated. Once a piece of sand enters the oyster layers of “nacre” a semi-translucent material is deposited on the sand. It takes considerable number of years for this deposition process to create a round pearl of fair size. Hence, natural pearls are rarely available and very expensive too.

Cultured Pearls

Most of the jewelers use “Cultured” or “Natural” adjectives for their pearl jewelry interchangeably. However few are aware of the real difference between the two. With the ever increasing demand of perfect round pearls for jewelry and moderate size of pearls, in the beginning of twentieth century, technique to develop pearls synthetically was introduced. So now typically most of the pearls in jewelry are cultured. It is essential to know this difference.

With this essential background, let me elaborate the various types of pearls based on their sizes, shapes and colors available.

Pearl Types

Based on the growing scenarios, mollusk formation, harvesting process among others, pearls are classified into following varieties:

1. Akoya – these pearls have the perfect round shape besides their metallic fame and high luster. They are available in classic white color and also dyed black one.

2. South Sea – these are the priciest cultured pearls with large size availability, invariably from 9 -18mm. They come in shiny silver and gorgeous golden colors.

3. Tahitian – With size varying from 8 to 16 mm, these are the naturally available pearls in black. The color ranges from silver to deep green with peacock colors that are in huge demand. Their shapes are almost round.

4. Freshwater – these pearls come in huge numbers but low to mediocre quality. Still, these are the pearls of choice for most jewelers. With advanced techniques, the Gem Grade pearls under freshwater pearls have beaten the Akoya’s Hanadama grade’s quality whereas the South Sea’s size. They are available in large number of hues like lavender, pink, peach, purple, bright white and more.

5. Cortez – these pearls exist in a wide range of colors which also comprises of the black shimmering pearl.

6. Mabe – these pearls are known for the impressive luster they have.

With such a huge range to choose from, pearls become an exquisite possession. Just decide the occasion and your attire to adorn with the best colored pearl strand. From peppy pinkish shades to classic royal white, you have them all to flatter you! Beautify yourself with these beautiful gems. So if you plan on doing any traveling to find the right pearl, follow these tips to ensure you get what you’re after.