FRESHWATER PEARL

Freshwater pearls range in size from as small as 5mm to as large as 13mm. Pearls below 7mm in size are considered to be on the smaller side, while 7-8mm and 8-9mm are among the more popular sizes selected for necklaces in Freshwater pearls. Anything sized from 9-10mm and above is considered to be above average in size, and such pearls are more rare and valuable.

INFORMATION

  • A - Low Quality Freshwater representing the bottom 60% of pearl harvest. 

  • AA - Medium-Grade Freshwater representing top 20% of Harvest. Commonly found at Jewelry Stores and major department stores.

  • AAA - High-Grade Freshwater representing the top 10% of a pearl harvest. Found in Finer Jewelry Stores.

  • AAAA - Very High-Grade Freshwater representing the top 1-2% of a pearl harvest.

SURFACE

  • Heavy blemishing with only a 50% or less clean surface.

  • Minor to medium blemishing with a 70-80% clean surface.

  • Minor blemishing with at least 90% of the pearl surface clean.

  • Very minor to no blemishing with at least 95% of the pearl surface clean.

LUSTER

  • Poor

  • Medium

  • High

  • Very High

SHAPE

  • Off Round

  • Off Round

  • Near Round to Round

  • Round

JAPANESE AKOYA

Japanese Akoya pearls range in size from as small as 2mm to as large as 10mm. Pearls below 6.0mm in size are considered to be on the smaller side, while anything between 6.0mm and 8.0mm are common sizes selected for pearl jewelry items on The Pearl Source. Akoya pearls sized above 8.0mm are considered to be above average in size, and such pearls are rarer and more valuable. Please download and print our pearl sizing guide below for more information.

INFORMATION

  • A - Low Quality Japanese Akoya representing the bottom 50% of pearl harvest (Not Sold at Pearl Source

  • AA - Medium-Grade Japanese Akoya representing top 60% of Harvest. Commonly found at jewelry stores and Major Department Stores

  • AA+ - High-Grade Japanese Akoya representing the top 5-10% of a pearl harvest. Found in Finer Jewelry Stores.

  • AAA - Very High-Grade Japanese Akoya representing the top 1-5% of a pearl harvest.

  • Hanadama - Gem Quality Japanese Akoya Pearls representing the highest 1% of a pearl harvest. Accompanied by a numbered certificate by the Pearl Science Laboratory of Japan.

SURFACE

  • Heavy blemishing with only a 50% or less clean surface.

  • Minor to medium blemishing with a 70-80% clean surface.

  • Minor blemishing with at least 90% of the pearl surface clean.

  • Very Minor to no blemishing with at least 95% clean.

  • 99% or cleaner pearl surface with either very minor to no blemishes visible.

LUSTER

  • Poor

  • Medium

  • High

  • Very High

  • Superior

NACRE

  • Thin

  • Medium

  • Thick

  • Very Thick

  • Very Thick

SHAPE

  • Round/Off Round

  • Round

  • Perfectly Round

  • Perfectly Round

  • Perfectly Round

TAHITIAN SOUTH SEA

Tahitian South Sea pearls range in size from as small as 8mm to as large as 20mm in rare cases! The smallest size Tahitian pearls offered on The Pearl Source are 8-9mm in size, with more common sizes including 9-10mm and 10-11mm. Generally, any sizes from 11-12mm and above are considered to be above average. Such pearls are very rare and valuable, especially in higher qualities. Please download and print our pearl sizing guide below for more information.

INFORMATION

  • A - Low Quality Tahitian representing the bottom 50% of pearl harvest (Not Sold at Pearl Source)

  • AA - Medium-Grade Tahitian representing top 60% of Harvest. Commonly found at jewelry stores and Major Department Stores.

  • AAA - High-Grade Tahitian representing the top 5-10% of a pearl harvest. Found in Finer Jewelry Stores.

  • AAAA - Very High-Grade Tahitian representing the top 1-5% of a pearl harvest.

SURFACE

  • Pearls having flaws on at least 60% of the pearl surface, with 20% containing deep imperfections.

  • Flawless pearl on 40% of its surface, with the remaining 50% having minor imperfections and 10% contain deep flaws.

  • Flawless pearl on at least 80-85% of its surface, with remaining 15-20% containing only minor imperfections with one or two deep imperfections.

  • Flawless pearl on at least 95% of the pearl surface, with 5% concentrated imperfections.

LUSTER

  • Poor

  • Medium

  • High

  • Very High

A-D GRADING SYSTEM

  • "D" Quality

  • "C" Quality

  • "A/B" Quality

  • "A" Quality

WHITE & GOLDEN SOUTH SEA PEARL

White & Golden South Sea Pearls range in size from as small as 3.0mm to as large as 9.5mm. Pearls below 7.0mm are considered small in size. 7.0mm until 8.0mm are generally the more popular sizes selected for necklaces, while anything above 8.0mm is considered to be more rare and valuable, especially in the higher qualities.

INFORMATION

  • A - Low Quality South Sea representing the bottom 50% of pearl harvest 

  • AA - Medium-Grade South Sea representing top 60% of Harvest. Commonly found at jewelry stores and Major Department Stores

  • AAA - High-Grade South Sea representing the top 5-10% of a pearl harvest. Found in Finer Jewelry Stores.

  • AAAA - Very High-Grade South Sea representing the top 1-5% of a pearl harvest.

SURFACE

  • Pearls having flaws on at least 60% of the pearl surface, with 20% containing deep imperfections.

  • Flawless pearl on 40% of its surface, with the remaining 50% having minor imperfections and 10% containg deep flaws.

  • Flawless pearl on at least 80-85% of its surface, with remaining 15-20% containing only minor imperfections with one or two deep imperfections.

  • Flawless pearl on at least 95% of the pearl surface, with 5% concentrated imperfections.

LUSTER

  • Poor

  • Medium

  • High

  • Very High

perles%20categories_edited.jpg
3-Mix-Color-Nice-Quality-South-Sea-Oyste

Pearl Types

Different Types of Pearls

Freshwater pearls
Freshwater pearls are grown in mussels living in fresh water, like ponds, rivers and lakes. Mussels are able to produce up to 20-30 pearls at a time. Freshwater pearls are well known for their wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, and their attractive affordable prices. Freshwater pearl sizes typically range from 5mm to 10mm, though they are often available in larger or smaller sizes. In recent years, the quality of freshwater pearls has been greatly improved and produced cleaner, rounder and more lustrous beautiful pearls.

Akoya Pearls
Akoya pearls are the world's best-known pearl and are treasured for their very round shape and high luster.They come from a small oyster known as the Pinctada fucata, or akoya off the seas of Japan and China, they are commonly found in sizes ranging from 4mm to 10mm in size. Akoya pearls are a timeless favorite in the pearl industry and are gorgeous bride wedding jewelry.

Tahitian Pearls
Tahitian pearls are the only pearls in the world that are naturally black, and are treasured for its incredibly exotic color and mirror-like luster. Tahitian pearls come in an array of colors, from silver to deep black, with shades of green, blue, and peacock. Range from 8mm to 18 mm in size.

White & Golden South Sea Pearls
White & Golden South Sea pearls are treasured for their classic color, exceptional sizes and brilliant satin luster. These valuable pearls are produced by the Pinctada Maxima oyster, along the coasts of Australia, Indonesia and Philippines. White South Sea Pearls are typically creamy white in color with a silver overtone. Golden South Sea Pearls often have a variation of shades of light to dark golden colors. Size are generally found between 9mm and 15mm.

PEARL GRADING

Suwaidi-Pearls-Farm.jpg

Pearl Education

What is Pearl?

3-Mix-Color-Nice-Quality-South-Sea-Oyste
70242.jpg

Pearl Sizing

Buying pearls online can be difficult, especially if you are not familiar with pearl sizes. For those who aren’t sure what pearl diameter they prefer, we have provided these images for comparison purposes.

Freshwater pearls

Freshwater pearls range in size from as small as 5mm to as large as 13mm. Pearls below 7mm in size are considered to be on the smaller side, while 7-8mm and 8-9mm are among the more popular sizes selected for necklaces in Freshwater pearls. Anything sized from 9-10mm and above is considered to be above average in size, and such pearls are more rare and valuable. Please download and print our pearl sizing guide below for more information.

Japanese Akoya pearls

Japanese Akoya pearls range in size from as small as 2mm to as large as 10mm. Pearls below 6.0mm in size are considered to be on the smaller side, while anything between 6.0mm and 8.0mm are common sizes selected for pearl jewelry items on The Pearl Source. Akoya pearls sized above 8.0mm are considered to be above average in size, and such pearls are more rare and valuable. Please download and print our pearl sizing guide below for more information.

Tahitian South Sea pearls

Tahitian South Sea pearls range in size from as small as 8mm to as large as 20mm in rare cases! The smallest size Tahitian pearls offered on The Pearl Source are 8-9mm in size, with more common sizes including 9-10mm and 10-11mm. Generally, any sizes from 11-12mm and above are considered to be above average. Such pearls are very rare and valuable, especially in higher qualities. Please download and print our pearl sizing guide below for more information.

White & Golden South Sea Pearls

White & Golden South Sea Pearls range in size from as small as 3.0mm to as large as 9.5mm. Pearls below 7.0mm are considered small in size. 7.0mm until 8.0mm are generally the more popular sizes selected for necklaces, while anything above 8.0mm is considered to be more rare and valuable, especially in the higher qualities.

Screen-Shot-2020-03-31-at-7.02.38-PM-118

PEARL COLOR

White is the most popular pearl color, and the one most commonly used to describe pearls in general. Yet, pearls come in a wide variety of colors ranging from white to black, golden to yellow, blue to pink, and just about every hue in between.

ABOUT PEARL COLORS

The typical white strand of pearls is no longer the norm. Today, you can buy pearl earrings, pearl engagement rings, a nice pearl necklace or other pearl jewelry almost every color of the rainbow. Although there are dyes and treatments often used to create magnificent pearl colors, we want to help you understand naturally colored cultured pearls.

Pearl Colors: White Pearls

These are considered to be classic pearls. Their simple elegance make them timeless gemstones. Both men and women have shown love for white pearls because they are subtly elegant.

TYPES OF WHITE PEARLS

  • White Freshwater Pearls

  • White Akoya Pearls

  • White South Sea Pearls

COMMON OVERTONES OF WHITE PEARLS

  • Silver – Bright white

  • Rose – Slightly pink

  • Ivory/Cream – Like French vanilla

WHITE PEARL SIZES

The sizes of white pearls vary from 1.0 mm (see pearls) to 20 mm

PEARL COLORS: BLACK PEARLS

Black pearls take on an exotic look. There are dark in color, and have been known to captivate admirers for centuries. They pique the imaginations of both women and men, and have been featured in mystical tales of intrigue and folklore.

TYPES OF BLACK PEARLS

All naturally colored Tahitian black pearls come from French Polynesia, Mexico. Black Freshwater pearls and Black Akoya pearls are usually treated or dyed to create their dark colors.

COMMON OVERTONES OF BLACK PEARLS

The hue and color intensity of black pearls varies. But, the most common black pearl overtones are as follows:

  • Copper

  • Aquamarine

  • Blue-Green

  • Rose

  • Green

  • Peacock (mixture of gold, green and rose)

BLACK PEARL SIZES

Most Tahitian pearls range is sizes from 8 mm to 16 mm (and higher in some cases)

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT BLACK PEARLS

Black pearls are associated with independence, strength, protection, mystery and allure. They’re symbolic of wisdom in the Chinese civilization.

PEARL COLORS: GOLDEN PEARLS

Golden South Sea pearls are some of the rarest, largest cultured pearls on the planet. These gemstones are quickly becoming popular with pearl lovers because of their warm, regal tones. The golden pearls found in Australia and Philippine Island tropical lagoons range in colors from 24 karat golden tones to pale Champagne hues.

TYPES OF GOLDEN PEARLS

  • 14 karat

  • 18 karat

  • 22 karat

  • Champagne

SIZES OF GOLDEN PEARLS

Golden South Sea pearls range in sizes from 9 mm to 16 mm (sometimes even higher)

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT GOLDEN PEARLS

In Chinese folklore, these naturally colored gems are depicted as lucky jewels that bring wealth and prosperity to their owners. Golden pearls are often shown in Chinese movies and folklore inside the claws or mouths of dragons. This symbolizes the dragon bringing luck to the owners of the pearls.

PEARL COLORS: PINK AND PEACH PEARLS

Naturally colored pearls ranging from peach to pink are cultured in Freshwater pearl mussels, located in China’s aquaculture ponds. Pink and peach pearls are just right for either formal occasions or casual affairs. They give pearl wearers radiant glows with all their glamour and shine.

TYPES OF PINK AND PEACH PEARLS

Freshwater pearls come ins some amazing peach and pink colors, as well as hues in between.

COMMON OVERTONES OF PINK AND PEACH PEARLS

  • Gold

  • Aquamarine

  • Rose

  • Green

SIZES OF PINK AND PEACH PEARLS

Cultured peach and pink pearls range is sizes from 4 mm to 12 mm. However, the average size pearls of such colors 6 mm to 9.5 mm. Pearl farmers are also producing cultured pearls that are much larger in sizes. “Edison” pearls, for example, have average size ranges of 14 mm to 14.6 mm.

INTERESTING PINK AND PEACH PEARL FACTS

When wearing pink and peach pearls, you can accessorize even more by accentuating the golden and pink hues, which enhances the gemstone’s sparkle. One way to do this is by adding different types of jewelry to your décor.

Yellow gold has a way of making pearls with pink and golden hues stand out, giving the gem and extra spark. White gold is also a great fit for pearl jewelry. Pair this silver-looking gold with deeper pinks to help the Aquamarine overtones stand out more.

Pearl Colors: Lavender Pearls

Lavender Freshwater pearls that are naturally colored are cultured in larger pearl mussels in China’s lakes and aquaculture ponds. These symbols for sophistication come in a combination of hues which include pinks, peaches, lavenders and whites.

TYPES OF LAVENDER PEARLS

  • Blue Akoya Pearls

  • Blue Tahitian Pearls

  • Silver-Blue White South Sea Pearls

COMMON OVERTONES OF LAVENDER PEARLS

  • Cooler shades of green and Aquamarine

  • Warmer shades of rose and gold

LAVENDER PEARL SIZES

Common sized lavender pearls range from 4 mm to 12 mm, with average sizes ranging from 13 mm to 16 mm. Some bead-nucleated lavender pearls are even larger, ranging from 13 mm to 16 mm in size.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT LAVENDER PEARLS

Pairing lavender pearls with white gold enhances the precious blue hues. Yellow gold provides contrast to the lavender color, which boosts the natural rose and gold tones of the pearls.

Pearl Colors: Blue Pearls

True blue pearls, which are the most unique and rarest on the market, portray the deep idea of individuality. They are well known for bringing the natural beauty in the eyes of the wearers. According to romantic myths, blue pearls owners will one day find true love.

COMMON OVERTONES OF BLUE PEARLS

  • Rose

  • Violet

  • Aquamarine

  • Strong blue

BLUE TONED TAHITIAN PEARLS RANGE WITHIN THE FOLLOWING COLORS:

  • Rose

  • Violet

  • Aquamarine

  • Strong blue

BLUE PEARL SIZES

  • Blue Akoya Pearls – Range from 7.5 mm to 9.5 mm in size

  • Blue Tahitian Pearls – Range from 8 mm to 14 mm in size

  • Silver-Blue White South Sea Pearls – Range from 9 mm to 16 mm in size (sometimes larger)

Pearl Colors: Chocolate Pearls

Chocolate color pearls are rich with shimmering hues and gleams of gold. Although rare, chocolate pearls can get their colors naturally. And, when they do, chocolate pearl jewelry owners find themselves with rare gems with gorgeous colorations.

TYPES OF CHOCOLATE PEARLS

Naturally colored pearls of this color are Chocolate Tahitian pearls.

COMMON OVERTONES OF CHOCOLATE PEARLS

  • Rose

  • Gold

  • Slight hues of bronze

  • Slight hues of green

  • Most hues vary between warm cocoa and dark chocolate

CHOCOLATE PEARL SIZES

Naturally colored chocolate pearls range in sizes between 9 mm to 14 mm, with average sizes being 10 mm to 12 mm.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CHOCOLATE PEARLS

Chocolate pearls contain warmer shades of gold that are magnificently enhanced when paired with yellow gold to create pearl jewelry or to further accessorize.

Pearl Colors: Multicolor Pearls

Mixing different pearl colors together can help you create unique looks and styles. Bring together the perfect mix of pearl overtones and colors for beautiful perfection.

Long white strands of pearls are still the common way to wear gems. But, with the right color mix and match, you can create a modern ensemble that will captivate admirers and make unique your look shine.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PEARL COLOR FOR YOU

Pearls come in numerous amazing colors, some occur naturally, others are color cultured. Both offer a wide range of colors that offer something for every style and personality.

When choosing pearl colors, keep your skin tone in mind:

Pearls with rosy overtones are best for people with light to fair skin

Cream of black pearls are best for those with tan or darker skin