Pearl that is used in jewelry making is usually cultured pearl. The pearl making process of mollusks can be hastened by inserting an irritant into the mollusk. The mollusk will surround this irritant with pearl. A cultured pearl is just like a natural pearl whose development is hastened by science. Some people are misled to think that cultured pearls are fake, but they are not. Anyway, when you buy pearl jewelry, consider the luster, thickness, color, smoothness, and shape of the pearl.
Experts look at the nacre thickness and quality when making quick judgment of the value of a pearl. According to expert pearl jewelers, nacre thickness determines how long a pearl can last, while the nacre quality affects luster. High quality pearl bestows excellent luster. Jewelry experts may have no problem distinguishing between a high quality and a low quality pearl, but consumers should check out the following.
1. Brilliance The luster is one important factor to look at when shopping for pearl jewelry. The luster of a fine pearl comes not just from the surface but also from within. The multiple layers inside a pearl gives it a distinctive glow, one that you will not notice on silver or gold jewelry. You can try to hold a pearl against a fluorescent light source. Turn the pearl to see if the luster remains uniform on all its surfaces.
2. Color A typical high quality pearl has color overtones. A rare pearl has rose colored overtones, distinct only upon close visual inspection. This rare pearl makes some of the most expensive jewelry pieces in the market. The cream colored counterpart is more common and, thus, less expensive. Natural colors are white, black, gray, gold, pink, green, and blue. Fake jewelry makers can dye a pearl to make it look like a natural pearl. In some cases, only a gemologist can identify a fake pearl among the genuine ones.
3. Blemishes No pearl is made by nature perfectly. Each pearl will have surface blemishes, which are only noticeable upon close inspection. Such surface imperfections can be seen upon pearl examination against a dark background using intense and soft light. Jewelry makers may ignore the blemishes as long as high luster is maintained.
4. Size and shape A big pearl is rare and more expensive. An expensive pearl is usually above 7 millimeters in diameter. The shape is also an important consideration. The perfect pearls are those with spherical shape, a characteristic that is quite rare. A perfectly spherical pearl could be one of the most expensive jewelry items in the market. On the other hand, there is the symmetrical pearl, one with a teardrop or pear shape. Such is more common than the previous one and is also more affordable. But if you want the cheapest, the baroque type can do. A baroque pearl has an irregular shape.