Tips For Buying Pearls
Purchasing something special for the lady in your life might include a
jewelry selection of pearls. An informed shopper is a good shopper and there
are many books written about pearls which give a vast amount of information
including pearl types, shapes, color, luster weight, etc. This information,
though valuable is, in general, to much for the average shopper to remember.
Here you will find a few tips, that are easy to remember, and will help
to guide any novice into making a better purchase.
- Prepare yourself for this journey with a 10-power triplet loupe. You
can buy one at a jewelry supply store and it is a tool that you will find
very valuable when purchasing any fine jewelry. In this case, you will
be looking at the holes that have been drilled in the pearl and judging
the thickness of the nacre. You are striving for as thick a nacre as possible,
without cracks or peeling. A cultured pearl has a thicker nacre by nature.
- Examine the strands on a flat white surface,e.g. a white cloth, board
or paper. Luster is difficult to judge when pearls are suspended or on
a dark surface.
- If possible, examine the pearls directly under a bare light instead
of away from the light.
- Look for the brightest and darkest areas of the pearls. Then compare
the contrast between the two. The lower the contrast and the milkier the
pearl, the lower the luster. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways
to spot low and very low luster. Milky-looking pearls are sometmes sold
in "high quality" stores. Be aware that their luster is low.
- Examine the light reflections on the pearls. Usually, the less sharp
and intense they are, the lower the luster. Sometimes, however, a lack
of sharpness is due to surface flaws, rather than the overall luster.
- Compare the lusters of the individual pearls on the strand. They will
almost always vary somewhat in luster. The luster quality of a strand is
determined by its overall appearance, not just by one pearl. High-luster
strands, however, should not have low and very low luster pearls. If you
find a strand you like that happens to have a pearl or two with obviously
lower luster than the rest of the strand, ask the salesperson to have them
changed when they are strung with a clasp.
- Roll the pearls slightly so you can see their entire surface. The luster
not only varies from pearl to pearl. It varies on each pearl.
- Try the pearls on and check if you can see the highlighted spots on
them from a distance (say 10 feet/3 meters). You'll be able to see if the
pearls are of good quality.
- If possible, lay the pearls alongside other strands and compare the
lusters. This is most effective when you already know the relative quality
of the comparison strands. Keep in mind that your impression of a strand
will be affected by the pearls it is compared to. A strand will look better
when viewed next to a lower-luster strand.
- Finally, selecting a color. Usually that is done by holding the pearls
next to you and deciding which color is best suited with your skin tone.
- Light pink are usually in the highest price catagory. Then comes white
followed by light cream, cream and then dark cream, yellow or golden. Pink
overtones can increase the price, silver usually have no effect and green
may decrease the price slightly. Blue is usually assiciated with top-quality
pearls and are rare and difficult to find.
I hope you have enjoyed this tip and that the information will help you
select the best strand of pearls possible for that special lady. Pearls
are becoming more rare each year, making them a sound investment, and a
fitting choice for that rare individual in your life.
Thanks for visiting Gifts Galore and please check back because we'll
be adding tips each month.
We appreciate your comments
Please let us know how we can improve our site for you.
This site and its content are Copyright © 1996-1998 Gifts Galore.
This site was created and is maintained by GiftsGalore, Inc. All rights
Reproduction, in whole or in part, in any form or medium, without express
written permission of
GiftsGalore, Inc. and Gifts
Galore, Inc. is prohibited.