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Quality Of Your Pearls
Do You Know The Quality Of Your Pearls?

Do You Know The Quality Of Your Pearls? Copyright ? 2004-2005 Joy Bescardi Frost Jewelry http://www.frostjewelry.com Pearls are one of the most sought after gems in the world. Unlike a diamond, this meek gem has a soft translucent glow that only enhances the beauty of the individual who wears it. Whether it?s a string of pearls, a bracelet, or a pair of earrings one wears, this gem is highly appreciated by women and men. In today?s market, it?s important to know how to determine the quality of a pearl. Dealers use the same alphabetical nomenclature (AA, B or C) to rate the quality of their jewelry, however, there is no internationally accepted standard used to grade pearls. This means that two jewelers rating the same pearl may have two totally different ratings. A pearl?s quality is apparent to the naked eye, which sets it apart from all other gems. Learning the differences can help to make an accurate judgment. While evaluating a pearl for its quality, there are three things to keep in mind. First, the background you select will affect how well you can see the imperfections. The best surface is one that is neutral and non-glossy (light gray or white is best). Second, the choice of lighting (white fluorescent or natural daylight) for viewing the pearl will affect its appearance. Viewing in direct sunlight or on a clouded day will give the pearl a false appearance. Lastly, it is easier to see the differences in color and luster by properly holding the pearl at a right angle to your body. Six categories are used to factor a pearls quality: luster; orient; nacre thickness and quality; color; surface perfection; shape and size. Noted first by its admirer is the pearl?s lustrous glow. Luster is the surface brilliancy of pearls and the best expression of a pearl?s beauty. Reflections of light can be seen in pearls with a very high luster. Pearls with a low luster have a milky or chalky appearance to them. Often if the luster appears uniform the pearl is of good quality. Gently roll the pearl and examine it under light. As the light hits the pearl, colors gleam across the surface of the pearl showing off its brilliance. The quality of color (iridescent orient) indicates the quality and thickness of the nacre, which ultimately determines a pearl?s longevity. Luster and iridescent orient are important to the beauty of a pearl. For a pearl to be lustrous, it implies the structural beauty of the nacre (nay-ker). The nacre is the secretion from which the pearl was initially formed. The thicker the nacre: the better quality of pearl. The ?play of color?, or combination of body color and overtone, make a huge determination in the value (cost) of a pearl. Some colors are rare and carry a higher dollar amount on the market. Body color and overtone are the two principal elements used to evaluate the color of white cultured pearls. Body color is the predominant basic color of the pearl. These colors include white, light pink or pink, light cream, and dark cream, yellow or golden. The overtone refers to the pearls secondary ?tint? and is only one or two colors in the central dark areas of the pearls. Overtone colors include pink, silver, and green. A pink body color is rare and more valuable but pink overtones are common and have a low value. Gray to black pearls with green or pink overtones are more natural. Blemishes and imperfections (spots or flaws) are factors that disturb the surface smoothness of the pearl. Cracks, spots, blisters or pimples can greatly affect quality. During pearl cultivation, natural blemishes are formed. A pearl must have a low number of imperfections to be classified as a high quality gem. A flawless pearl by the unaided eye is nonexistent. The final factors are size and shape. Natural pearls are measured by carats and cultured pearls are measured by diameter (millimeters). Since large pearls are rare they hold a higher value on the market. Spherical (round), symmetrical (tear drop), and baroque (irregular) are the three shapes used to categorize pearls. Spherical pearls hold the highest value. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Joy Bescardi is the founder and webmaster of Frost Jewelry a quality resource for everything to do with jewelry. If you like Joy's article then you can find more information at - http://www.frostjewelry.com/articlejewelry/

Joy Bescardi