How to Buy Pearls?
Buying pearls can be a daunting and difficult task for the uninitiated but with a little bit of research, you'll be able to choose the best pearls based on the quality, style, and color to make the task more interesting and enjoyable. The goal of this page is to be a simple primer for those new to shopping for pearl jewelry.
All pearls sold on the retail market are "cultured pearls" unless otherwise labeled as natural pearls. Many jewelers and consumers mistakenly label Freshwater pearls as "cultured pearls". but this is misleading since Akoya, Freshwater, Tahitian and South Sea pearls are all "cultured pearls". To avoid confusion knowledgeable dealers and consumers will refer to pearls by their correct pearl type.
Decide what type of pearl suits your style and budget. A strand of pearls can range from $35 - $35,000+, so understanding the different types of pearls will help you narrow down your choice.
Never before has such a wide range of pearl colors been available. White is the classic, versatile color choice and many believe that a woman's first pearl necklace should always be a white strand. "Black" pearls are not actually black but dark shades of gray, greens and blues and give an exotic look that works especially well with darker skin tones. Pink, peach and lavender shades are fun and flirty, perfect for spring and summer wear but when color matched correctly - an outfit can look incredibly sophisticated as well.
When dealing with cultured pearls there are several factors that will determine the overall value of a pearl.
Only purchase from a company with a solid return policy. Pearl always look great in a photograph or showroom but may appear different in natural lighting, so it's important to be able to exchange or return your pearls if necessary.
Purchase from a retailer that specializes in pearls. 99% of all jewelers are uneducated, misinformed or simply ignorant when it comes to cultured pearls, many don't understand the product they are selling.
Don't get hung up on brand names. Tiffany's and Mikimoto both are known for high quality goods, by no means do they have a monopoly on high quality pearls. Savings of thousands of dollars can be had if you do your research.
A simple method to check if a pearl is real or imitation is the "Tooth Test". Gently slide the pearl across the front of your teeth; if it feels smooth then it's a fake, as real pearls feel gritty.
“Compare our pearls head-to-head against ANY luxury brand. You will not find better quality and price.
I guarantee it.”
Founder - Pearls of Joy