Guide Book to Custom Pearl Jewelry

Everything About Pearl

Believe it or not, pearl jewelry sells itself well to those who enjoy fine jewelry. And with Zearrow’s custom pearl jewelry added to your collection, we can significantly boost your sales and brand recognition.

Pearl Necklace

Pearl Bracelet

Pearl Choker Necklace

Pearl Hoop Earrings

Black Pearl Necklace

Pearl Pendant

Pearl Shape Guide

Round Pearl

Shape: Perfectly round

Drop Pearl

Shape: Tear or droplet shape

Semi-Baroque Pearl

Shape: Slightly irregular

Oval/Egg-Shaped Pearl

Shape: Elongated, oval or egg-shaped

Baroque Pearl

Shape: Irregular, asymmetrical

Button Pearl

Shape: Flat or slightly rounded

Circled/Ringed Pearl

Shape: Circles or rings around it

Oval/Egg-Shaped Pearl

Shape: Elongated, oval or egg-shaped

8 Differences Between Cultured vs Natural Pearls



Cultured pearls are intentionally cultivated through human intervention, while natural pearls are formed spontaneously within oysters or mollusks in their natural habitat.



Cultured pearls are created through the insertion of a nucleus into an oyster or mollusk, while natural pearls form without human intervention.



Compared to natural pearls, which are rare and highly priced, cultured pearls are generally more affordable. The availability and controlled cultivation process make them a more accessible option for those seeking the elegance and beauty of pearls.



The cultivation process of cultured pearls allows for greater control over the final product. By selecting the shape, size, and colour of the nucleus, pearl farmers can create pearls that meet specific market demands or cater to individual preferences.


Size and Shape

Cultured pearls offer a higher level of consistency in terms of size, shape, and quality compared to natural pearls, which can vary greatly in these aspects.



Cultured pearls offer a higher level of consistency in terms of size, shape, and quality compared to natural pearls, which can vary greatly in these aspects.



Cultured pearl cultivation can be more environmentally sustainable compared to traditional pearl fishing, which may have detrimental effects on natural oyster populations and ecosystems. Pearl farms can operate in a controlled and sustainable manner, reducing the impact on marine environments.


Market Availability

Cultured pearls are more readily available in the market due to controlled cultivation techniques, while natural pearls are limited in supply and often found in antique or specialty markets.

8 Factors Affecting Pearl Price

01 Luster

Luster is probably the most important value factor in judging pearl quality.

Luster is essentially the intensity and sharpness of light reflected from the pearl’s surface. The more lustrous the pearl, the brighter and clearer the reflection, and the better the quality.

GIA divides the luster of pearls into 5 categories, ranging from “excellent” to “poor”.  Factors such as nacre quality, rate of nacre deposition, type of mollusk, and its health can all affect a pearl’s luster.

02 Types of Pearls

Pearl type plays a vital role in determining jewellery prices. Freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, South Sea pearls, and Tahitian pearls each have unique characteristics and rarity, affecting their market value.

Generally, the order of pearl prices from least to greatest is freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and South Sea pearls. Additionally, natural pearls are usually more expensive than cultured pearls of equivalent quality.

03 Size

The pearl’s size is one of the important factors that drive the pearl’s value.

The size of round and near-round pearls is indicated by their diameter in millimeters, other shapes are measured according to their length/depth and diameter/width.

The size of a pearl depends on its type, rarity, and growth period. All other factors of value being equal, the larger the pearl, the greater its value. A quick guide to common sizes for different pearl types is shown below.

04 Shape

Round pearls are the most valuable, as oysters rarely produce a (nearly) perfect round shape and thus command a higher price than other-shaped pearls.

GIA divides pearls into seven basic shapes: round, near-round, button, drop, oval, semi-baroque, and baroque.

Round and near-round are more common in saltwater pearls than in freshwater pearls, thanks to a nucleus implanted in the oyster. Therefore, between Akoya pearls and freshwater pearls, all of the same quality, freshwater pearls can cost more than saltwater pearls.

05 Color

Color is usually a personal preference and will not affect the quality of the pearl. However, pearls with natural colors are usually more valuable than dyed ones.

Pearls come in a stunning array of colors. From white, cream, pink, yellow, green, and blue to black with many shades in between. Additionally, pearls often come in delicate shades such as greens, blues, and pinks.

High-value colors for Akoya are silver and white. Freshwater pearls are white and lavender. Peacock and fuchsia are prized colors of Tahitian pearls. For South Sea pearls, the most prized color is dark gold.

06 Surface

Surface quality affects the durability and luster of pearls.

All other factors of value being equal, pearls with fewer blemishes and smaller sizes are more valuable. Most pearls have imperfection such as bumps, pits, spots, and wrinkles. Minor irregularities are acceptable.

GIA grades the surface quality of pearls as clean, lightly spotted, moderately spotted, or heavily spotted. Naturally flawless pearls are hard to find, which is why saltwater pearls, especially South Sea and Tahitian pearls, can be expensive. They have clean smooth pearls of such a large size.

07 Nacre Quality

Nacre is a natural substance produced by mollusks to form pearls.

The thicker the nacre, the more valuable the pearl. The quality of the nacre affects the durability and luster of the pearl and indicates how long the pearl has been cultivated. Generally speaking, the longer the pearl stays in it, the thicker the nacre will become.

The thicker the nacre, the more durable and lustrous the pearl.

GIA defines 3 categories. They are acceptable, nucleated, and chalky in appearance. Pearls with a thin nacre usually have a low luster and can appear chalky in color. Natural pearls and most freshwater cultured pearls do not contain pits; they are made almost entirely of nacre. This distinction makes freshwater pearls more durable than saltwater pearls.

08 Matching and Craftsmanship

The quantity of pearls used in fabricating a pearl jewellery usually has an impact on the price of the jewellery, meaning smaller pearl jewellery with other factors excluded, will typically cost less than larger jewellery.

The parts of jewellery, such as clasps and strings, can impact the price of pearl jewellery in several ways. While these components may not be as prominent as the pearls themselves, they play important roles in the overall quality, durability, and aesthetics of the piece.

The craftsmanship involved in assembling the various components of the jewellery can impact the price. Attention to detail, precision in stringing pearls, and secure attachment of clasps and findings all contribute to the overall quality of the piece.

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