Luxury Pearl Buying Guide – Where to Begin

Pearls are one of the most luxurious and sought after forms of gemstones in the world and, with such understated elegance and grace, you simply cannot go wrong when wearing classic pearl jewellery. There is such a wide array of cultured pearl varieties available on the market today – from Akoya to Tahitian – and this can make choosing pearls difficult if you’re not quite sure where to begin. Our guide to buying pearls online will help to steer you in the right direction.

Let’s not waste any more time, let’s get going with our pearl jewellery buying guide – starting with pearl type:

Freshwater or Saltwater?

Most of the cultured pearls on the market are of the freshwater variety and these are typically harvested from freshwater mussels grown in lakes and ponds in China. Freshwater pearls are extremely beautiful, and can be found in white and a range of pastel colours. Some argue that it is saltwater pearls such as Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian pearls that are the superior variety for their lustre and quality. We’ll let you be the judge, however – take a look at the freshwater pearl necklace and the Akoya pearl earrings below…which is your favourite?

How Much To Spend:

The value of a pearl is determined by its rarity and its quality. One of the most important factors to look for is the quality of a pearl’s shine, which is called lustre. Depending on the type and quantity of gold or silver used, and any gemstones such as diamonds, rubies or sapphires, pearl jewellery can be as inexpensive or luxurious to be able to suit most budgets. For example, a beautiful freshwater pearl and silver bracelet could be found for less than £100, whilst a breath-taking South Sea pearl and diamond necklace such as the spectacular piece below would be considerably more:

Find the Right Retailer:

Pearls are a classic gemstone that remains in fashion from year to year, whilst designers are also embracing their use in more contemporary jewellery. As an organic gem, with no universally accepted grading system, it is always worth finding a retailer that understands pearls inside out, knows how to match them and complement them with other jewels to create breathtaking pieces.


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