ThE VALUE OF
The pearl type – whether it is a natural pearl, a freshwater cultured pearl, a saltwater cultured pearl, etc. – is the primary indictor of a pearl’s value.
There are five factors that determine the price of a pearl:
Shine: Shine, or lustre, is the amount of light a pearl reflects, both from its surface and from within its layers of nacre. The more lustrous the pearl, the higher its value.
Surface: Surface blemishes are part of a pearl’s natural texture. The fewer blemishes a pearl has, the higher its value.
Shape: Because round pearls are the most difficult to cultivate, the rounder the pearl, the more valuable it is. Pear, oval and baroque cultured pearls, however, are also prized by many.
Shade: A pearl’s shade or colour is characterized by an overall body colour or overtone (one or more translucent colours) and an orient (shimmer of iridescent rainbow colours on or just below a pearl’s surface). A pearl’s colour can affect its value – but it is normally a question of taste.
Size: The larger the pearl, the higher its value.
There are two international pearl grading systems, the Tahitian and the International AAAA, with the International being the most frequently used.