Namaka Pearl Shopping Guide

by Anna Semiachko August 09, 2018

Namaka Pearl Shopping Guide

General Pearl Grading

Everybody knows, what are the 4 Cs that define the value of a diamond: they are cut, color, carat and clarity. A similar classification is applied when grading pearls, but the criteria that affect the price are a bit more diverse.

The main criteria determining the value of a pearl are: size, shape, surface quality, luster and color.

Another criterion comes to light when evaluating jewelry items with more than one pearl involved (strands, earrings, pearl bracelets). This criterion is called “matching”.

All pearls are created by Mother Nature and they are all unique. You will not find two pearls exactly the same, but you can do your best to select pearls for one jewelry piece to be as similar as possible.

The better the pearls are matched in one jewelry item, the higher will be the value of that jewelry piece.

Special Features of Tahitian Pearl Grading

 Grading pearls is quite a subjective matter. There are no internationally approved standards; therefore every company might grade their product a bit differently.

The good news is that all Tahitian pearls have to meet the strict grading standard set by the government of French Polynesia and many pearl sellers adopt the Tahitian grading system as it is considered to be one of the most reliable.

What should you pay attention to?

The Shape or Are Round Pearls the Best Kind?

Pearls can be round, semi-round (or almost round), oval or button shape, baroque, semi-baroque and circled or ringed pearls.

Round pearls, all other value factors being equal, tend to be more expensive than pearls found in other shapes. However, high-quality drop shapes or baroque shapes often can cost considerably more than rounds, due to higher luster, color, or surface quality.

The Surface Quality

No human is perfect – neither are the pearls.

The surface may exhibit tiny notches, spots, bubbles or other deformations.

Depending on the quantity and the disposition of these imperfections, pearls can be divided in 4 categories form AAA+ (the most expensive) to A- (the least expensive).

  • AAA+ quality: an ideal pearl, no imperfections, very high luster
  • AAA quality: a pearl with few imperfections found on no more than 5% of the surface
  • AA quality: several imperfections found on no more than 20% of the surface
  • A quality: several imperfections found on no more than 60% of the surface.
  • A - quality: significant imperfections located on more than 60% of the pearl surface.

Does the Size Really Matter?

Cultured Tahitian pearls have to exhibit at least 1 mm of mother-of-pearl layer to match the requirements of the Pearlculture Ministry of Tahiti. The ones that are smaller are not allowed to sell and get destroyed.

The smallest pearl in this case will be about 8 mm in diameter and the biggest pearl reaches the size of 18 mm in diameter.

Sometimes All You Need Is a Splash of Color

Tahitian pearls are famous for their extraordinary unique color hues. Find out more about the color classification in our previous post.

Learn more

The Perfect Pearl in a Nutshell

We know you are still wondering what does the most valuable pearl look like.

 Here is the easy answer: the most expensive pearls are those that are large, that display rare colors, are round, are free of surface imperfections and that display a high degree of luster.





Anna Semiachko
Anna Semiachko

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News

Legends of the Tahitian Black Pearl
Legends of the Tahitian Black Pearl

by Joanne BRENT November 07, 2019

It’s really no secret that the Tahitian black pearl is considered the crown-jewel of Polynesian sea-bed inspired jewelry. The mysterious hue coupled with the allure of pearls has also given rise to many legends and stories about how these incredible gems originated. After all, it has become an emblem of Polynesian richness and heritage, it’s natural that folklore would reflect this magnificence too.

View full article →

Pearls from the Past | World’s Oldest Pearl Found in 2019 | Namaka Jewelry
Pearls from the Past | World’s Oldest Pearl Found in 2019 | Namaka Jewelry

by Joanne BRENT October 29, 2019

Emirati archaeologists have made a historic discovery this month at Marawah Island, off the capital of the  United Arab Emirates: what’s believed to be the oldest pearl in human recorded history. Excavated in October (2019), this exquisite natural pearl is carbon-dated to between 5,800 and 5,600 BC, that’s almost 8000 years old! Found at one of the oldest sites in the country, the gem was excavated from the location of numerous collapsed Neolithic structures. These have also provided researchers with ancient ceramics, beads made from shell, as well as stone and flint arrowheads.

View full article →

Pearl-Inspired Halloween Costumes: Smart, Fun & Sexy
Pearl-Inspired Halloween Costumes: Smart, Fun & Sexy

by Joanne BRENT October 21, 2019

For many people, approaching Halloween is almost as anticipated as Christmas or New Year. Getting to dress up in a beautiful or funny or scary Halloween costume and heading out for the night can be especially magical when you add beautiful pearl pieces to your look. Still, need some inspiration? No problem! Here are our top pearl-inspired Halloween costume ideas that are smart, fun and sexy. After all, if not on Halloween then when?

View full article →