Pearls are very unique among the gemstone family, in that they are natural organic products of living creatures. Pearls have different grading standards to other gemstones. New Zealand Pearl is one of the largest wholesalers of high-quality pearls in New Zealand, and our pearls are hand-selected.
As with gemstones, the quality of a pearl is determined by several criteria including its size, shape, colour and lustre. To help our customers make a more informed decision, we have gathered some information to help you understand the beauty and unique qualities the make up the Pearl. If you do not find the answers to you questions on this website we encourage you to contact us.
Lustre is best described as the shine that gives a pearl their beauty and is an important factor in identifying quality. Lustre also refers to the way the Pearl surface reflects light, and to its inner glow – how it refracts light from the layers of nacre within. Pearls with low lustre appear chalky, yellow or dull – Whereas the lustre of good quality pearls is sharp and bright.
Pearls develop into various shapes. Round pearls are the rarest and command the highest prices.The term ’round’ does not mean spherical like a marble. Pearls should not be obviously oval or flattened to the naked eye. Baroque pearls are not symmetrical in shape, and can be lustrous and appealing, and will typically cost less than round pearls.
Nature almost always leaves its mark, it is extremely rare to find a perfect pearl. The cleaner the surface of the pearl, the more valuable it becomes.Unacceptable faults may include cracks or holes in the surface or thin and flaking nacre. The highest quality pearls have a sharp, mirror-like reflection. Blemishes are natures way of letting us know a pearl is genuine.
Pearl size is measured in terms of its diameter. The size of the Pearl is important because larger pearls are harder to find. As the pearl size increases, its range also raises high. The difference in size could raise the price by 200 percent.
An important factor to look out for is the thickness of the nacre as this determines not only the pearl’s lustre but also how long it will last. Pearl jewellery should always be stored separately from diamonds to ensure the harder stone does not scratch their surface. We would recommend putting pearl jewels into a cloth bag before placing them in the jewellery box. Acidic elements such as perfume and even perspiration can dull a pearl’s lustre, so never spray scent directly onto them and wipe the pearls before putting them away. In the case of pearl necklaces, it is a good idea to take them to a jeweller every five years to check whether they need re-stringing.