Choosing the Best Pearls to Buy – A Guide to Pearl-shopping
There are a thousand reasons to buy pearls. They’re beautiful, they make for great jewellery and even greater gifts. But pearl-shopping, unlike other-jewellery-shopping isn’t easy. It is tough to choose the best pearls to buy from all the different kinds of pearls that exist and even tougher to detect if they are fake or real.
Let us help you out with pearl-shopping with our mini guide to choosing the best pearls to buy.
Types of pearls
Pearls are of many different kinds depending on the oyster that produces them and the part of the world that they’re produced in. But usually, the best pearls to buy and to be worn are these three kinds of pearls.
Akoya Pearls: The very first pearls that were discovered, the Akoya Pearls are the classic and the earliest version of pearls. They are formed from the Akoya oyster in Japan and are considered the best pearls in the world. They are usually milky white or light pink in colour. Characteristically, they have overtones of silver or gold over them. Very rarely, they come in minty green, blue or off-white colours.
South Sea Pearls : South Sea Pearls are grown in the shores of Tahiti and are got from the Tahitian oysters. Tahitian oysters produce two kinds of pearls, the South sea black pearls if the oyster is black lipped and the regular white pearls. The black Tahitian pearls are very popular for their rich shade of black with a characteristic green overtone. The whiter pearls on the other hand are larger and come with a characteristic pink overtone. All of the South sea pearls have a very rich lustre to them.
Very rarely, there are golden coloured South sea pearls that are also got from the Tahitian sea.
Cortez Pearls : A rare kind of pearls, the Cortez pearls are found in Mexico and are got from the rainbow-lipped oyster. They come in a whole array of colours ranging from pink to green to gold. Rainbow overtones are a characteristic feature of these pearls. If non-dyed and natural coloured pearls are what you’re looking for, Cortez pearls are the best pearls to buy.
The qualities you should look out for in your pearls
After choosing your pearl, the rest of the features of the pearl are to be checked. Whether you are buying pearls online or from a jewellery store around you, it is these qualities of a pearl that you should majorly check for.
- The lustre of a pearl and its overtone should be checked by placing them on a lighter background.
- The size of the pearl should be checked. All the pearls in a strand should ideally be of the same size.
- Pearls come in different shapes, round, oval and drop-shape. Choose the shape that you’d like to buy.
This is how you can tell if a pearl is real or fake
After choosing your pearl, the next and the last step is to differentiate a real pearl from a fake pearl. Although distinct separation is often difficult, you can usually tell them apart with these little techniques.
- The most common technique to tell real pearls from fake pearls is to rub them against your teeth. A real pearl feels gritty whereas a false pearl is smooth.
- Real pearls are very heavy and false pearls are not. You should therefore check the weight of your pearls before you buy them.
- When buying antique pearls you should check for marks of wear and tear as real pearls, made of natural substances are subject to wear.
After you’ve decided on the best pearls to buy, the next step is to find the design that fits your purpose. This, of course, is the easiest and the most fun step of them all. And once you’re done with buying that perfect pearl jewellery, you’ll be surprised at how fulfilling the experience of shopping for pearls is. Happy Pearl-shopping!