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.

G.G.


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