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Valuation Explanation

All of our pearl descriptions are in accordance with the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA).

Raw Pearls determines Pearl Quality using these 7 value factors while taking into account the Pearl Type.

1. Size

Pearls are measured by their diameter in millimeters. The larger the size of the pearl, the greater its value as long as all other factors are equal.

2. Shape

Pearl experts generally divide pearl shapes into three broad categories, based on their overall characteristics:

  • Spherical shapes are perfectly round or nearly round. They are the classic pearl shape that is most familiar.
  • Symmetrical shapes are balanced and regular. If you sliced this pearl in half, each half would be a mirror-image of the other half.
  • Baroque shapes are irregular or abstract. They are non-symmetrical in nature.
  • In general, round and near-round pearls are the most valuable, because of their rarity. Symmetrical shapes are generally considered to be more desirable than baroque shapes.

3. Colour

A Pearl's colour can have three main characteristics:

  • Body-colour: the dominate overall body colour of the pearl.
  • Overtone: one or more translucent colours that appear over a pearl's body-colour.
  • Orient: iridescent, rainbow colours shimmering on or just below a pearl's surface.

4. Lustre

Lustre is the most important of all the value factors when considering the beauty of a pearl. There are four categories of lustre;

  • Excellent: reflections are bright, sharp and distinct
  • Good: reflections are bright but not sharp, and they are slightly hazy around the edges
  • Fair: reflections are weak, hazy and or blurred
  • Poor: reflections are dim and diffused.

5. Surface quality

There are four classifications for surface quality:

  • Clean: pearls can be blemish free or contain minute surface characteristics that are very difficult to see
  • Lightly Blemished: minor blemishes or surface irregularities
  • Moderately Blemished: noticeable surface characteristics
  • Heavily Blemished: obvious surface irregularities.

6. Nacre quality

Nacre quality can be classified in three ways:

  • Acceptable: nucleus not noticeable, although slight blinking might be present. No chalky appearance.
  • Nucleus Visible: the pearl shows evidence of its bead nucleus through the nacre.
  • Chalky Appearance: the pearl has a dull chalky appearance.

7. Matching

Pearl matching is more important when considering a strand of pearls. Minor variations between pearls within a strand should be expected as no two pearls are identical. When considering pearl matching, uniformity of pearl factors such as size, shape, colour, and lustre should be taken into account.

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