It’s hardly surprising that pearl earrings have long been used as a status symbol due to its allure, elegance, and sophistication. Real pearl earrings cost a lot during the Renaissance since it was difficult to find two good pearls with the same hue and brilliance. Only the aristocracy and the wealthy could previously afford pearls.
Natural pearls of the jewelry-grade variety are still uncommon, although methods of obtaining pearls have greatly advanced since the 16th century. Although pearl earrings are still classic luxury accessories and are currently a major jewelry trend, their typical price has dropped. What is the price of a pair of pearl earrings? What should the price of a decent set of pearl earrings be?
Knowing what qualities to look for in a fine pearl is essential if you want to learn how to purchase pearl earrings like a jeweler. While pearl grades differ from those of other gemstones, they nonetheless have an impact on the final price of pearl earrings, just like diamond. The pearl quality are listed below.
How to Calculate the Value Of Pearls?
What is the price of pearls? No matter how a pearl is cultivated, the majority of those that are harvested are of low or medium quality. Due to the peculiar nature of how they develop inside the oysters, fine, top-quality pears are incredibly uncommon. The same substance that makes up the mother of pearl is secreted by each oyster in a lengthy process that envelopes an irritant with layers and layers of nacre.
These nacre layers are not always spread evenly or in an attractive manner because these gems are organic. This implies that each pearl’s quality is very different from the next and that most natural pearls lack the characteristics that make them so precious.
The most expensive natural pearls are typically only accessible through prestigious auctions or museums due to their rarity and historical significance. It can be very challenging to determine if your pearls are cultured or natural without the aid of lab testing and a gemological professional when learning how to tell if pearls are real. Experts use testing techniques including energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence, laser, X-rays, and Raman spectroscopy to distinguish between the two varieties.
How much are pearls worth? Guide to Different Pearls’ Values
One of the most recognizable and well-liked natural gems to be found anywhere in the world are pearls. They can cost as little as $100 or as much as thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars, pounds, or euros for a string of them.
But what is the value of pearls, how much do they cost, and how exactly is this value established?
In order to respond to the question, you will need to comprehend the true worth of pearls, how this value varies, and how different pearls are priced in various ways.
Here is everything you need to know about pearl value.
How Much Are Pearls Worth?
Numerous factors and their interactions in the final product determine a pearl’s worth. Natural pearls are frequently more expensive than cultured pearls, however this is not an unbreakable rule. In most cases, pearls are regarded more for their aesthetic worth and attractiveness.
Shape, color, luster, size, surface quality, matching, and the nacre quality of the pearl are just a few of the many components that contribute to this beauty. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) developed these 7 value factors to harmonize pearl grading schemes. Pearls may also be worth more if they have cultural or historical importance or if their previous owners were prominent figures like famous people, business moguls, or fashion designers.
How Much Are Real Pearls Worth: Natural Vs Cultured Pearls?
What is the difference in price between pearls that are found in the wild and those that are cultivated in farms?
It’s crucial to remember that only genuine pearls have true value. When compared to real pearls, imitations manufactured of glass or resin are essentially worthless.
In general, natural pearls are much more expensive than their produced counterparts. For instance, a string of 53 genuine saltwater pearls that went up for auction in 2014 brought in a whopping US$2.9 million, and four years later, a natural pearl pendant that belonged to French Queen Marie Antoinette broke auction records by fetching US$32 million at Sotheby’s.
Cultured pearls cost between $50 to $175,000, making them substantially more affordable. It’s interesting to note that both natural and cultivated pearls are genuine pearls that are produced in essentially the same ways from oysters that produce pearls, whether in freshwater or saltwater.
The primary distinction is the external irritant that stimulates the formation of a pearl inside the oyster’s shell. Without human interference, a natural pearl is created when a sand grain or parasite enters the shell. Cultured pearls are made when pearl growers purposefully inject irritants like oyster tissue or beads into oysters’ shells. Accordingly, natural pearls are much less common than produced pearls. The majority of actual pearls discovered today are cultivated.
Tell Me The Value Of Tahitian Pearls
The largest diversity of naturally dark and rich colors may be found in Tahitian pearls, which are often regarded as the most exotic type of pearl in the world. They are produced by black-lipped oysters (Pinctada margaritifera cumingii), a species that is only found in Fiji, the Cook Islands, the Sea of Cortez, and French Polynesia. They are also known as black South Sea pearls or just black pearls.
Tahitian pearls of inferior quality can be purchased for as little as $200, while pearls of higher quality can cost anywhere between $200 and $600. The appropriate buyer might pay anywhere from $1,000 to $36,000 or more for the best Tahitian pearls.
Tell Me The Value Of South Sea Pearls
The most expensive farmed pearls on the earth are these. Pinctada maxima oysters, the largest of the species, are grown in the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, and Burma.
Low-quality South Sea pearls can sell for up to $200, and pearls of average quality can be found for $250 to $450. For extraordinary specimens, the highest quality pearls can sell for anywhere from $1,200 to $35,000 or more.
Which color pearl is the most valuable?
Tahitian pearls come in a variety of colors, but blue, brown, purple, peacock, and aubergine have the highest value. Freshwater pearls with white and lavender hues are next, followed by Akoya with white and silver. Silver and gold South Sea pearls are likewise quite expensive and highly sought for by collectors.
How Much Are Oyster Pearls Worth?
Some of the most expensive oyster pearls in history are The Pearl of Lao Tzu ($3.5 million), The La Peregrina Pearl ($11.8 million), and The Beauty of Ocean Pearl ($139 million).
Depending on a number of reasons, the typical price range for oyster pearls can range from $20 to $5,000 or more per pearl. Natural pearls, those of superior quality, and those with deeper significance will fetch higher prices.
Are Antique Pearls Worth Anything?
Unfortunately, most pearls that are passed down through inheritance are actually fakes, especially if their previous owners were not exceptionally rich. Large pearls in superb condition, wild, natural pearls as opposed to cultured types, and pearls used in jewelry designed by recognizable or very well-known jewelers will all make up the most valuable antique pearls.
Having your ancient pearls inspected by a pearl laboratory or a knowledgeable professional in the area is the best approach to determine their authenticity and value.
What Are the Main Differences Between Akoya and Freshwater Pearls?
Which Pearl Type Should You Buy? Akoya vs Freshwater?
Although all pearls may look similar to the naked eye, this is not the case. Don’t miss our comparison of the two most common types of cultivated pearls, Akoya and Freshwater, if you intend to purchase pearl jewelry. This will undoubtedly assist you in making the best decision.
Pearl Structure – Saltwater vs Freshwater Pearls
Freshwater Pearl Structure
Chinese freshwater pearls are typically “tissue nucleated.”
This entails cutting tiny incisions all over the soft body of the host mussel and inserting 1.0mm square pieces of mantle tissue from a donor mussel. These donor tissue fragments act as nuclei to promote the creation of the pearl sacs that eventually give rise to our beloved, vibrant cultured freshwater pearls.
A potential pearl harvest from even a single freshwater pearl mussel totally dwarfs that of any other pearl variety because these mussels can be nucleated up to 25 times on each side of the shell. Their lower price points are partially explained by the increased harvest volume.
The donor tissue square gradually degrades as the Freshwater mussel encloses the mantle tissue nucleus in a pearl sac during the pearl-forming process. This will go on for the duration of the 2-3 year creation phase, until the pearl’s core is completely gone.
In essence, it produces a pearl formed entirely of crystalline nacre, making them incredibly hard small diamonds.
The closest thing you can find to a natural pearl created on its own in the wild in terms of composition is a freshwater pearl.
If properly maintained for, freshwater pearls are EXTREMELY versality and will last for many years while maintaining their natural color, brightness, and orient.
Due to the way light reflects and refracts off the many layers of crystal, freshwater pearl luster will have a softer, more subtle glow than that of their saltwater siblings.
The Freshwater pearl mussel nonetheless performs a pretty good job of making smooth shapes that are frequently spherical to the eye despite not having a round inner “template” bead nucleus to work with.
Every year, advances in freshwater farming technology produce larger, more spherical pearls. As a result of the greater sizes the freshwater pearl mussel is able to produce, perfectly round freshwater pearls with a bead nucleus will soon be competitors in the South Sea pearl market. Maybe a decade or so away, but affordable, perfectly round freshwater pearls are on the way!
Saltwater Akoya Pearl Structure
Bead nucleated is the term used to describe saltwater Akoya pearls.
In order to start pearl formation, a perfectly round nucleus made of polished shell material is surgically inserted into the host oyster’s gonad. The spherical nucleus is also great for giving the oyster a kind of “template” that helps it produce pearls that are precisely Round.
The smallest saltwater oyster currently being utilized to make pearls is the Akoya pearl oyster. After the implantation surgery, the pearl is allowed to grow for a period of 18 months to two years. The longer the better, as this enables the pearl to acquire thicker nacre layers. It can only contain one or two bead nuclei at a time.
These Japanese-originated bead-nucleated cultured pearls are renowned for their immaculate roundness. In the pearl industry, these pearls are known as “Eight Way Rollers” because they roll evenly in all directions when set down on a flat surface.
The shine of akoya fine pearls is particularly clear and reflective. Fine Akoya are similar to looking into a convex mirror and show incredibly detailed reflections.
Cultured Akoya pearls are renowned for having nearly perfect matching because of their precisely round forms. A strand of akoya pearls will show little to no variation between the individual pearls.
Akoya pearls require proper maintenance to maintain their crystal’s luster. These pearls are sensitive to chlorine, smoke, oils, perfumes, and other environmental chemicals. After wearing them, wipe them down with a damp, soft cloth to remove any residue from the surfaces of the pearls.
Pearl Shapes - Saltwater vs. Freshwater Pearls
The shape is the most main distinction between the Freshwater and Akoya pearl.
It is well known that cultured Akoya pearls are precisely spherical. Of course, there are baroque Akoya accessible, but they are currently more of a collector’s item due to their rarity. Today, flawless rounds make up the great majority of Akoya pearls you’ll find in shops and online.
Freshwater pearls come in a much, much wider range of shapes, with potato shapes and off-round/oval shapes being the most prevalent and recognizable. The pearl forms will be more rounded as the quality of these pearls increases.
Akoya Pearl Shapes
Even an extremely thorough examination and comparison of the best grades of Akoya pearls will show that both kinds (AA+ Quality and AAA Quality) provide precisely round pearls with nearly perfect matching for shape, size, body color, overtone, and shine.
Freshwater Pearl Shapes
A+ Grade Freshwater Pearl Shape: Moderate Variation in Matching Pearl to Pearl Throughout a Necklace Layout, Visibly Off-Round to Oval and Egg Shapes.
Shape of AAA Quality Freshwater Pearls: Slightly Off-Round to Near-Round Shapes; Moderate to Light Variation in Pearl Matching Throughout a Layout.
Highest Grade/Elite Collection: Less than 3% of freshwater pearls difference from true roundness in terms of shape. Pearl matching varies very slightly throughout a necklace design.
Pearl Luster - Saltwater Akoya vs Freshwater Pearl
This is another significant difference between the two forms of pearl. But that’s actually GOOD! There is, in my opinion, a misconception that freshwater pearls are less “lovely” than saltwater Akoya pearls. It’s possible that this statement is correct in that the Freshwater aren’t appreciated as highly as the Akoya and don’t share their renowned “ball-bearing” brightness and flawless roundness.
However, many Freshwater pearls exhibit a charming, understated “glow”. The glow is , in my opinion, especially noticeable in AA+ quality and metallic freshwater pearls. You might be a fan of freshwater pearls if the shape attribute isn’t the biggest concern in the world to you.
What Does Akoya Pearl Luster Look Like?
Japanese Akoya pearls are exquisite; they were the first completely round farmed pearls released into the jewelry market in 1912 by Kokichi Mikimoto, and they have since been known around the world as the quintessential white pearl.
The idea that pearls “should” look like that bright shine and flawless matching from pearl to pearl throughout their layouts has become ingrained in the modern public consciousness, and it can be very difficult to overcome, especially for someone who is unfamiliar with all the different types of pearls.
It is highly bright, with a very high rate of Light Return on the surface of the pearl, and depending on the quality of the pearls, objects reflected in their surfaces can range from reasonably to incredibly detailed. Their signature luster is sometimes described as “Ball-Bearing” or “Mirror-Like.”
Examining Freshwater Pearl Luster Characteristics
The very fine luster of Pure’s Elite Collection differs from the glossy, bright shine of Japanese Akoya (especially a Hanadama-level Akoya) in that it is more of a glow that seems to come from within the pearls themselves.
As was mentioned before in the text, the pearl’s structural makeup, which is 100% solid crystalline substance, is the reason for its softer, more satiny gloss.
When light strikes and penetrates a pearl’s surface and returns to the spectator, it must travel a significantly greater distance, breaking up and dispersing across millions of layers of crystalline platelets to produce an optical illusion of depth and radiance.
Blemishing - Freshwater vs. Akoya Pearls
Both akoya and freshwater pearls have distinctive flaws (also known as inclusions).
It should be noted that because pearl inclusions are DIFFICULT to capture, certain minor marks have been brightened and enlarged to make it visible.
The inclusions of both types of pearls are typically:
Extremely diminutive in size
Only Upon Close Inspection Visible (6-Inches or Less)
White or without color
Do Not Affect the Pearl’s Longevity
For these reasons, choosing a pearl necklace based on inclusion kinds is not advised, and it is the very last factor take into account when choosing between the two varieties of pearls.
Pinprick flaws, lighter or darker patches of organic conchiolin buildup visible just beneath the surface crystal, and small, white wrinkles in the surface nacre are the principal features of Akoya pearls.
The majority of inclusions in freshwater pearls are subdued white “chalky patches” and ridges on the pearl’s surface.
Pricing Issues - Freshwater vs. Akoya Pearls
When we first learn about the price difference between saltwater Akoya and freshwater pearls, many of us are shocked. Depending on the pearls in issue, the price might range from $150 to hundreds of dollars.
This 32-inch, 8.0-8.5 akoya pearl necklace, which has a retail value of nearly $5,000, was recently finished for a custom design client.
There are a few factors that contribute to the price difference between freshwater and akoya pearl kinds. Which are:
Valued Pearl Characteristics
Pearl Culture Techniques And Difficulties
Let’s briefly go over these points in more detail so that you can have an insider’s perspective on what actually influences price differences between the two most common types of white pearls available today.
On each side of freshwater pearl mussels shells, freshwater pearl mussels can develop up to 25 nuclei. This indicates that, when harvested, each mussel has the capacity to generate 50 pearls. Although the freshwater pearl mussel is a tough little guy that rapidly produces pearls, their usual period spent growing in the water is between two and three years.
The tiniest of all pearl-bearing mollusks, The Akoya pearl saltwater oyster – the pinctada fucata martensii, can only be seeded with up to 2 nuclei at a time and, for best results, with only one bead nucleus to generate finer pearls.
The volume of pearls harvested each year is greatly altered by this small biological difference between the two mollusks, making saltwater Akoya pearls the more valuable and rarer of the two.
The yearly Japanese Akoya pearl harvest is estimated to be around 25 tons based on recent production data.
Around 1,000 tons of freshwater pearls are produced in China every year.
Fine Akoya pearls are thousands of times rarer than any Freshwater pearl available on the market now, according to a straightforward harvest estimate.
Valued Pearl Characteristics
The Japanese Akoya pearl is regarded as THE Classic White Pearl Necklace around the world.
With regard to fine Surface Quality, Pearl Shape, Luster, and Pearl Matching, these pearls will live up to everyone’s expectations.
The bulk of customers seem to think that the Akoya pearls have a more exquisite presentation overall. Because they have established themselves as The Standard for the classic white pearl necklace and meet the higher quality standards for pearls, akoya pearls are more highly appreciated by consumers and the professional jewelry market (especially in the Luster and Shape category).
Due to their rarity, they can fetch a higher price than Freshwater pearls with softer luster, off-round shapes, and slightly off-round shapes.
Pearl Culture Techniques And Difficulties
This also has a connection to rarity. A batch of saltwater Akoya pearls requires very difficult nucleation. The delicate Akoya oysters must be handled with extreme care to avoid their rejecting the bead nucleus or passing away completely following the grafting procedure.
In essence, I’m stating that compared to their Freshwater cousins, Akoya pearls require a LOT more sweat, blood, and tears to produce just one. Every step is at risk, including oysters, farmers, processors, and auctions. Higher risk equals a higher cost.
It is simpler to create Freshwater pearls since all that is required for the nucleus is a 1.0 mm square piece of donor mantle tissue, which is put into the soft body of the mussel (again, with a LOT more insertions equaling a higher amount of pearls per harvest). The artificial lakes and ponds used for pearl culture are less vulnerable to changes in temperature, algal blooms, and pollution carried ashore by stormwater.
Overall, growing freshwater pearls is a less dangerous venture. But once more, cheaper price equals less risk.
How Much Are Freshwater Pearls?
Pearls come in a wide variety of varieties. These pearls are the most widely distributed in the entire world, and due to their low cost, jewelry usually incorporates them. In lakes, ponds, and rivers in China and Southeast Asia, Hyriopsis cumingii oysters are frequently used to cultivate freshwater pearls.
Low-quality freshwater pearls can be purchased for as little as $20, while pearls of average quality can range in price from $30 to $50. Freshwater pearls of exceptional quality can sell for anywhere from $65 to $5,000 or even more in some cases.
Natural saltwater pearls, which are incredibly rare and expensive, are made in the Arabian Gulf by the oyster species Pinctada radiata and Pinctada margaritifera. Their cost per pearl can vary substantially, from $500 to $2,000 or even more!
What Are the Value of Akoya Pearls?
When you think of these marine gems, you probably image traditional round, white pearls, which are Akoya pearls. Pinctada fucata martensii, a saltwater oyster species, is the main source of these pearls in China and Japan. It is quite uncommon to find natural akoyas grown in this species of oyster.
Low-quality Akoya pearls can be purchased for as little as $100, while pearls of average quality are typically sold for $150 to $300. A fine quality Akoya can cost anywhere from $400 to $6,000 or even more, especially if it’s one of the previously stated rare natural examples.
Are Pearls A Good Investment?
Although pearl jewelry can remain for decades and be passed down through your family as a potentially valuable heirloom, experts generally do not advise investing in it.
The greatest time to purchase pearls is when you simply want them for yourself, but if you decide to invest, you could be better off choosing a rare and sought-after kind like South Sea pearls, Tahitian pearls, or natural pearls, which will increase in value over time.
5 Top Freshwater Pearl Earrings For Everyday Wear
14K White Gold 7mm White Round Freshwater Pearl Stud Earrings
A great option to start pearl jewelry collection are the White Freshwater Pearl Stud Earrings, which are available in either white or yellow gold with a high gloss. Our premium Freshwater pearl stud earrings in 7mm size, which come in AAA or AAAA quality, are the ideal finishing touch for any ensemble.
Freshwater Pearl Earring 7mm Pink Freshwater Round Pearl Stud Earrings in Metal 14K White Gold
This set of Pink Freshwater pearl earrings is a must-have for every jewelry collection because they are classy and classic. You can choose either yellow gold or white gold as the 14K gold post that hold these stunning pearls in place.
Cultured Freshwater Pearl Earrings 7mm Peach Freshwater Round Pearl Stud Earrings in Metal 14K White Gold
Such subtle sophistication and beauty have never previously coexisted. Gorgeous 14K white or yellow gold stud earrings with 7mm Peach Freshwater pearls. These unique peach freshwater pearls have an amazing sheen that will go perfectly with any of pricey pearl necklaces.
14K Yellow Gold Freshwater Pearl Hoop Earrings Round Shaped Pearl Earrings in Metal 14K Yellow Gold
These earrings include two exquisite freshwater pearls, each graded at our highest ‘Very High’ luster and available in your choice of white, peach, or lavender. These pearls will look magnificent dangling from your ears whether you choose 14K white gold or yellow gold.
14K Gold Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings 8mm Round Shape Freshwater Pearl Earrings in Metal 14K Yellow Gold
These chic earrings include two 8mm Freshwater pearls that were picked for their outstanding brilliance. The pearls are mounted in the best 14K gold, whether you like white or yellow gold. You need go no further than these earrings, which come in a gorgeous jewelry box, if you’re searching for a considerate gift.