Pearls have been much appreciated for thousands of years by people for their unique appearance, shimmering in shades from white to cream, pink to black, and anywhere in between. Each pearl is unique and distinctive and therefore has a different value.
Most pearls are cultivated from molluscs and over half of the world’s production comes from one species of oyster alone. Natural pearls are formed when an irritant enters a mollusc’s shell and causes the animal to coat it in nacre, a substance that is similar to mother of pearl. The process can take years, but it’s well worth the wait.
The most valuable pearls are those that display a natural luminosity and unique shape. Usually, the more rare or expensive a pearl is, the more will be natural pearl stone price. However, you will also want to consider its size and shape as well as its colour before making your decision.
At stores like GemPundit, you can buy natural pearl online at the most affordable prices, and the stone comes with a free lab certificate to prove its quality and authenticity. Here are the types of natural stones you can find and buy from a reputed seller:
1. Freshwater Pearls
Freshwater pearls are made from freshwater mussels, which are found in lakes and rivers. These pearls are the least expensive type and can be found in a range of sizes. They are rare in comparison to the saltwater variety. That’s because they are very difficult to farm and harvest.
Freshwater pearls are grown in mussels, freshwater snails and freshwater clams found in rivers around the world. A pearl forms as a result of an irritant that enters the mollusc and is coated with layers of nacre, a substance secreted by the animal to protect itself against further injuries. The layer of nacre continues to build until it forms a pearl.
Freshwater pearls are produced in a wide range of shapes – round, near-round and off-round, baroque, teardrops and drop. The larger baroque pearls are often opalescent with a combination of colours that add unique appeal to their beauty. Also, fresh water pearls have good resistance to scratching and discoloration.
2. Akoya Pearls
Akoya are the most popular type of pearl and are often used in jewellery. They are made from saltwater mussels found in the waters off Japan, China and Australia. Akoya pearls have a very high lustre and can be found in a variety of colours including white, pink and black. Their shape ranges from perfectly round to irregularly shaped with bumps or blemishes on their surface.
The most common shape for Akoya pearls is round, but they can also be baroque or near-round. Akoya pearls are graded by their surface quality, which determines how well they reflect light.
The highest quality Akoya pearls are white and have a high lustre. They also have a mirror-like surface that gives them the appearance of being round, even though they may actually be irregularly shaped.
3. South Sea Pearls
South Sea Pearls are the most popular type of pearl in the world. They are grown mainly in Australian waters, but they are also found in other regions. South Sea pearls are harvested from oysters that live on beds located near the surface of the water. Because they don’t have to travel far to reach maturity, these pearls are often large and lustrous.
The pearls are known for their high lustre and exceptional quality. They are the most valuable variety and come from the South Seas, particularly from the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.
They are generally brown or golden in colour with a round or oval shape. South Sea pearls are rare to find, which makes them very expensive. They are often used in jewellery and can be found in a variety of styles, including drop pearls. They are also considered the most valuable type of pearl because they are very rare.
4. Tahitian Pearls
Tahitian pearls are usually cream or light yellow in colour. They are large, and sometimes feature an iridescent rainbow-like sheen. Tahitian Pearls come from the French Polynesia islands of Tahiti, Raiatea and Bora Bora. They have a unique appearance due to their shape, which is usually round or oval with a flat back surface. The best Tahitian pearls are small to medium sized, have a high lustre and may be white, cream or rose (mauve).
These pearls are priced much higher than their freshwater counterparts due to their rarity and beauty. They are created by oysters responding to irritation by coating an irritant such as a grain of sand with nacre (the iridescent substance that makes up their shell).
There are many other types of pearls that you can explore on your own time and in your own way. We hope that you will continue to learn about these beautiful gems and their history as well as their importance today in the culture and economy.