Natural pearls are so rare to find in nature that most pearls sold today are cultured. To create a cultured pearl, a tiny bead is implanted into the oyster and gradually over time the oyster coats the bead in many layers of natural minerals and proteins. These layers are referred to as nacre (Nay-Ker.) It is the nacre that gives pearls their beautiful lustre and colour.
At Chuwawah Jewellery we offer a variety of Freshwater, Japan Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian cultured pearls. Our pearl jewellery is available in a variety of different styles including studs, fashion earrings, strands, necklaces, pendants and bracelets. In addition, we offer our pearls in varying price ranges so that you can find the perfect pearl for your style and budget.
Determine the Value of Pearls in below Aspects
The general colour of a pearl is also called the body colour. Typical pearl colours are white, cream, yellow, pink, silver, or black. A pearl can also have a hint of secondary colour, or overtone, which is seen when light reflects off the pearl surface. For example, a pearl strand may appear white, but when examined more closely, a pink overtone may become apparent.
Pearls produce an intense, deep shine called lustre. This effect is created when light reflects off the many layers of tiny calcium carbonate crystals that compose the pearl. This substance is called nacre. When selecting a pearl, consider that the larger the pearl, the more nacre it has, so it will also exhibit even more lustre. Compare a 5mm Freshwater cultured pearl with a 10mm South Sea cultured pearl and the difference in the amount of nacre is obvious. The difference in lustre is as clearly visible as the difference in the pearl sizes.
Highest quality, rarest pearl shape – round. Shapes that are not spherical or even symmetrical are considered lower quality. Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls found in jewellery have a tendency to be the roundest, while Freshwater pearls can be oval or slightly off-round.
As a mollusc creates a pearl, the layers of nacre do not always adhere smoothly. Sometimes spots and bubbles can appear in the layering process. Pearls with the smoothest surfaces are the highest-quality, most sought-after pearls. At Chuwawah Jewellery, to offer you a range of prices, we offer pearls with a range of surface qualities.
The size of the pearl greatly depends on the type of pearl. Generally, Freshwater pearls range in size from about 3.0-7.0mm; Akoya pearls range from about 6.0-8.5mm and South Sea and Tahitian pearls can reach sizes as large as 13mm.
South Sea Pearl
South Sea pearls are exceptional quality pearls with a whitish, almost silver colour.
Much larger than the average pearl, the smoothness and roundness of these pearls are exceptional. These are the most rare and extraordinary pearls you'll find in jewellery.
South Sea pearls come from the white-lipped variety of the pinctada maxima oyster. This oyster is much larger than the oysters that produce Akoya and Freshwater pearls, so the pearl that it produces is much larger as well. Because of the rarity and sensitivity of this type of oyster, cultivation of these pearls is much more difficult, making them more expensive.
Tahitian pearls offer a dramatic touch. The natural black colour of these pearls comes from the colour of the oyster's black lips.
These pearls are traditionally called "black," but their colour can range from a metallic silver, to the colour of graphite. And within this range of colours they can have bluish, purplish, or greenish overtones.
Tahitian pearls are cultivated from the black-lipped variety of the Pinctada margaritifera cumingi oyster, which are usually 6- to 12-inches in diameter and produce large pearls. This oyster is very sensitive to the pearl culturing process, which makes the pearls very costly to produce. A gift of Tahitian cultured pearls makes an extraordinary, unique gift.
Freshwater Pearls look remarkably similar to the Akoya pearl, but Freshwater pearls are available for almost 1/5 the price of Akoya pearls. The only tradeoff is that Freshwater pearls are generally smaller, less symmetrical, and not as well matched when strung on a strand. But if you're looking for pearls at an outstanding value, Freshwater pearls are the perfect gift.
Freshwater cultured pearls can be created in a spectrum of colours. Many popular Colours - white, pink, orange, and other pastels - can be achieved through natural means, including the pearl mollusc's genetics, what they eat, and the amount and type of trace metals in the cultivating environment.
It is a widely-accepted practice to treat or irradiate Freshwater pearls in order to achieve a particular or unusual colour, and equally common to treat Freshwater pearls to create a more evenly-coloured strand. Pearl colours should always be chosen to complement the wearer's complexion and wardrobe preferences.
From a value standpoint, when selecting coloured pearls it is important to understand if the colour is natural or the result of some post-harvesting treatment. For example, Tahitian pearls, cultivated in black lipped oysters, are the only naturally occurring charcoal to black pearls. It should be made clear to you that other pearls exhibiting these colours have been treated, and that fact reflected in a lower cost.