One of the most common questions that we get asked is how do we grade and value our pearls. Just like diamonds, there are quite a few factors that play a major role in assessing a real pearl necklace’s value.
In order to assess the right value of a pearl, one must first spot the difference between a natural pearl and a cultured pearl. Naturally occurring pearls hold a higher value as they are produced by oysters. Cultured pearls, on the other hand, are synthetically manufactured; a process in which an agent is surgically implanted inside the oyster to produce a pearl. Although each variety of oysters create a different style of pearl, cultured pearls are perfectly spherical as most consumers desire.
Irrespective of whether a pearl is cultured or natural, the real pearl necklace value is determined in the same manner as that of other precious gems. There are 5 main aspects that are taken into consideration and affect both the grade and value of pearls used at Jagdamba.
- Size – Though the size of the pearl does not affect its grade, there are pearls in rarity that determine a higher price. In the case of some pearls, the difference of half a millimeter can make a considerable price difference. Therefore, it is always best to measure the size of a pearl. Pearls range greatly in size and can be anything in between 1mm to 20mm. Cultured pearls are usually found in between sizes of 6mm to 7.5mm. However, the larger the pearl, the bigger the price tag.
- Colour – The colour of the pearl does not affect its quality and is a matter of personal preference, silver-pink, white-pink and deep gold are the most sought after colours. The higher the demand, the higher the value it has.
- Surface – Imperfections in pearls is what adds to their natural texture and individual character. Only a very small percentage of pearls have a totally smooth surface. The pits, bumps and cracks on a pearl occur because they are created naturally. The more spotless the surface, the more valuable the pearl. Flawless pearls are quite rare and tend to be priced higher.
- Shape – Pearls that are perfectly spherical are of a much higher value and grade. Tear drop, oval, baroque, button and semi-round shaped are often preferred for that alternative look. Due to the rareness of shape in which these pearls are found, the price tag goes steeper.
- Lustre – It is the way in which a pearl will reflect light off its surface. The exceptional the lustre, the more mirror-like its reflection will be turning it into a pearl of a higher value. Only surface quality and the thickness of the nacre (the composite material produced by mollusks to create the pearl) will affect the lustre of the pearl.
When the above factors have been taken into consideration, each individual pearl is given a grade and value. Below is a chart of how both lustre and surface are used to determine the grade of a pearl.
|AAA||Exceptional, Mirror-Like Reflection||Blemish-Free Surface*|
|AA||Superb, Clear Reflection||Very Slightly Blemished|
|A+||Very Good, Clear Reflection||Very Slightly Blemished|
|A||Good, Clear Reflection||Very Slightly Blemished|
|A1||Good, Clear Reflection||Slightly Blemished|