A guide to choosing the right freshwater pearls

Pearls have always been very distinct simply because, unlike gemstones, pearls are not extracted from the earth, but instead, they are harvested from the sea. They require no additional finishes and are harvested ready to use in its raw and most natural form. They require no cutting, polishing or finishing. They are subtle, gorgeous, and sophisticated, and are the epitome of class and luxury. Pearls might look like a simple material to source and work with, but those tiny drops of opaque, pearlescent stones have so many variants and factors to consider.

AKOYA PEARLS

The picture-perfect shiny, white pearl that we all think of when we hear the word pearls is most likely an Akoya pearl. This variety has an exclusively luxurious white sheen to it. Akoya cultured pearls are most commonly found in Japan.

FRESHWATER PEARLS

Just as the name mentions, these pearls are not harvested from salty Ocean Mollusks, they are harvested from Freshwater ones. They are the most affordable kind of pearl, but this variety also has finer pieces that are considered luxurious. Freshwater cultured pearls can be widely found in pearl farms across China and India.

TAHITIAN PEARLS

TThese pearls are harvested from the coasts of French Polynesia. They are distinctly identified by their glossy, metallic, grey/black color. They are the only naturally occurring black pearls.

Black Tahitian pearls from French Polynesia
SOUTH SEA PEARLS

These are one of the more expensive kinds of pearls, mostly because of their gorgeous appearance and enormous sizes. They are mostly grown in the coral triangle that lies between Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. These pearls are highly sought after for their luxurious appearance and value.

BAROQUE PEARLS

While most pearls are spherical or oval in nature, baroque pearls are known for their uniquely imperfect appearance. Interestingly, these pearls are sought after for their flawed looks and uniqueness. No two Baroque pearls are similar which makes every piece of jewelry or accessory adorned with the Baroque pearls equally unique.

HOW TO JUDGE A PEARL AND ITS VALUE.

As your Bodyguard, and advisor, we are always here to help you choose the best quality pearls, but we also wanted to help you understand why some freshwater cultured pearls are high up on the luxury scale and why some others are more affordable. To help you understand the attributes and judge a pearl with precision, we have curated a list of factors to understand the quality of pearls and how to evaluate them. Keep reading as we cover everything you need to know.

Baroque coin pearls sourcing
Origin

Pearls are formed inside oysters and whether the pearls are naturally formed or cultured manually affects the pricePearls are formed inside oysters and whether the pearls are naturally formed or cultured manually, affects the price of the pearl to quite an extent. While manually cultured pearls are comparatively cheaper, Naturally formed pearls are more expensive as they are rare to find.

Lustre

A bright pearl with a shinier surface and a deep-seated glow rank much higher on the grading scale compared to a dull matted Pearl. According to local jewelry experts, it is said that a great pearl has a surface shiny enough that your reflection can be clearly seen on it. A pearl that looks too dull or chalky indicates that the pearl is of lower quality.

Shape

Since Oysters do all the work of producing pearls without human interference, the end product can never be estimated and is always a mystery. This is why cultured pearls with a perfectly round shape are extremely rare to find and hence are the most valuable. While there is a huge population that prefers the perfect spherical pearl, many people are now also opting for the Baroque shape which has an extremely irregular shape for fine jewelry. Freshwater sources like rivers and lakes usually produce Baroque pearls. Other than these two, there are other shapes like drop, coin, oval that are also very common in Fine Jewelry. 

Size

Just like any other Precious or Semi-precious stone, the Price of pearls is directly proportional to the size. Generally, as a rule of thumb, the price of a pearl is directly linked to its size. The difference between a 7.0-7.5mm pearl necklace, and a 9.0-9.5mm size in terms of price is quite large and increases exponentially. Today, the average pearl is sold between 7-7.5mm in diameter. 

Deepwear team checking natural freshwater pearls
Surface

A pearl with a clean surface without any disfiguring spots is considered very valuable. Naturally, pearls do have some indentations,  A pearl with a clean surface without any disfiguring spots is considered very valuable. Naturally, pearls do have some indentations, bumps, cracks, and blemishes, and so finding naturally flawless pearls is extremely rare, and this makes them extremely valuable.

Color

While most people associate pearls with the opaque off-white color commonly seen, Pearls come in a wide range of colors from Rose, Silver, Gold, blue, Grey, and more. Depending on the design, finish, and usage of freshwater pearl jewelry, the selection of pearls might vary from style to style.

All of these factors need to be analyzed before cross-checking them to the value of the pearls. There are so many people ready in the market waiting to scam the unaware clients. To ensure that you don’t end up with an overpriced strand of pearls, we at Deepwear refer to the A-AAA Grading Scale which is a simple and straightforward grading system based upon specific percentages for different physical attributes of the pearls. Our team on the ground visits every pearl farm personally and analyses the quality and condition of each pearl. We check every aspect of the pearl sourcing process in all major Pearl producing countries and only approve the ones with the desired quality.

Pearl farming in China

PEARL SOURCING WITH DEEPWEAR

Deepwear has experienced Jewelry experts who understand the importance and distinction of every freshwater pearl type. We have well-built relationships with several pearl farms all across China, India, Indonesia, Polynesia, and other parts of Asia. Our association with Pearl culture farms gives us an added advantage since we have their trust and they have ours. Hence we can source the most authentic high-quality pearls in any size, shape, and color our clients prefer. Having an understanding of the farms also gives us access to better pricing, standards, control, and security leading to better services. We source from the same pearl farms as many big-name brands without the costly overhead associated with big box store names. Whether you are trying to decide on the perfect pearl necklace, or a classic pair of studs, something glamorous, or something experimental, we’ve got you covered.

A goal we work towards at Deepwear is making quality jewelry sourcing transparent and accessible, providing everything you need under one roof. We do not work with middlemen, agents, or traders. We bring your projects straight to the source of Pearl farming, Saving money, effort, and time with one team.

If you have any questions or want to discuss your ideas in detail, explore options and request quotations, Contact us