From the beginning of time pearls were the most coveted of jewels, from the Pharaohs to the Aztec empire. Mystical beautiful and valuable. The Pearl Necklace is worn by some of the most elegant women in the world.
The most valuable pearl jewellery piece in the world is this double-strand pearl necklace that fetched $3.7 million when it was sold by Christie's in 2012. Held together with a Cartier diamond clasp, the necklace is made up of 120 white or light cream pearls ranging in size from 6.5 to 12.25 mm.
The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in the wild but are extremely rare. These wild pearls are referred to as natural pearls. Cultured or farmed pearls from pearl oysters and freshwater mussels make up the majority of those currently sold. For centuries, pearls have been a symbol of beauty and purity. Today, they are regarded as both classic and contemporary, coming in many more fashionable styles than your grandmother’s traditional strand of pearls.
- While shopping for pearls, there are various lengths available:
- A collar fits directly against the throat
- A choker rests at the base of the neck
- The princess length reaches near the collarbone
- A matinee length is usually 20-24 inches
- The Opera length is 30-36 inches
- The longest length, known as a rope, refers to all strands longer than 36 inches
Necklaces can also be classified as uniform (where all pearls are about the same size) or graduated (pearls change uniformly from ends to centre). For a huge selection of the finest pearl necklaces available to buy visit our UK Store.
At Otomo, we celebrate the beauty and history of pearls each and every day, by offering our customers access to the most exquisite and competitively-priced pearl rings, pearl earrings, pearl necklaces, pearl pendants, pearl bracelets and pearl jewellery sets. Our designs are crafted with painstaking attention to detail and we offer enough variety to please, whether you value traditional style, seek out vintage-inspired designs or prefer modern and edgy pieces. Our pearls are lustrous and vibrant. They shimmer and catch the light. They are cool and silky to the touch and they showcase the natural beauty of women to absolute perfection!
Cultured pearls are grown on pearl farms. The molluscs are raised until they are old enough to accept the mother-of-pearl bead nucleus. Through a delicate surgical procedure, the technician implants the bead and then the molluscs are returned to the water and cared for while the pearl forms. Not all produce a pearl, and not all the pearls are high quality. Over 10,000 pearls may be sorted before a 16” single strand of beautifully matched pearls is assembled.
Pearls can be found in saltwater and in freshwater. There are also different types of molluscs that produce very different looking pearls.
Saltwater pearls include the Akoya cultured pearls grown in Japanese and Chinese waters. They range in size from 2 mm (tiny) to 10 mm (rare) and are usually white or cream in colour and round in shape. Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines produce the South Sea pearl – the largest of all the pearls. They range in size from 9 mm to 20 mm and can be naturally white, cream, or golden in colour. Tahitian pearls are interestingly not exclusively from Tahiti – they’re grown in several of the islands of French Polynesia, including Tahiti. Their typical sizes range from 8 mm to 16 mm. These naturally coloured pearls are collectively called black pearls, but their colours include grey, blue, green, and purple.
Measuring Pearl Quality
Pearl quality and thus, the value of a pearl is measured according to a combination of several different factors. These factors are: the type of pearl, the thickness of its nacre, its lustre, the cleanliness and texture of its surface, its shape, its colour and its size. Because the pearl is a naturally occurring organic gemstone, created by living creatures, these factors can and do vary widely. Although all of them affect the ultimate value of a given pearl, some of the factors are more objective, while others are more a matter of taste or preference.
Pearl Quality Is Determined By Many Factors
The type of pearl is perhaps the most basic factor to consider: whether the pearl is a freshwater pearl, an Akoya pearl, a South Sea pearl, or some other variety. Each type of pearl is created by a different species of oyster, usually living in a different region of the world and under varying climatic conditions. All of these factors have an impact on the characteristics of the resulting pearl. Most types of pearl are used extensively in pearl jewellery. Some types of pearls are much rarer than others, increasing their value significantly for that reason alone. Other types are more common, meaning that the pearl's ultimate desirability and value will be determined by factors other than the type. South Sea and Tahitian pearls are generally larger than Akoya's, and each type tends to have its own distinctive range of colours.
Nacre Increases Pearl Quality
Nacre is the substance from which the pearl is actually created. Pearl characteristics such as colour and lustre are actually characteristics of the nacre itself. In general, the thicker the nacre, the more valuable the pearl.
A Smooth Surface Means Higher Pearl Quality
The appearance of the surface of the pearl is perhaps one of its most critical characteristics. The surface should be smooth and clean, without bumps, spots, discolourations, or other disfiguring characteristics. As noted, it should be shiny and reflective, rather than dull and chalky.
Colour shape and size are all different factors that affect the quality and therefore the price of pearls. Before buying pearls consult the experts at My Pearls for an informed and honest evaluation and advice for the type of pearls you are looking for. Pearls make an excellent gift and are an investment. Necklace, earrings, bracelets the gift for the lady in your life or why not treat yourself, ladies.