When all other quality factors are equal, the larger the pearl, the more valuable it is. Less than 25% of any pearl harvest is fine enough for jewelry. Of that, only 1% will measure over 9.0 mm and be considered fine.
Like all products of nature, cultured pearls display “fingerprints” left over from their time in the host oyster. Inclusions distinguish genuine cultured pearls from man-made imitation beads. High quality synthetic pearls such as the Majorca pearls will display perfect surfaces with no marks or aberrations. The fewer the imperfections, the more valuable the pearls are. All cultured pearls exhibit some imperfections even if they are not visible to the naked eye.
1. Akoya Mottling is not technically considered to be an imperfection and the formation occurs due to a build-up of crystal just under the surface.
2. Flat spots are commonly found on smaller pearls in the 5.0-7.0mm size range. Flat spots are only visible upon up-close inspection of six-inches or less because of their small size.
3. Blinking is the visual phenomenon that appears when the pearl’s nacre is too thin. Striations in the mother-of-pearl bead nucleus become visible when spinning sections of the strand in front of a strong light source.
Pearls with thin nacre not only tend to have low luster but they also risk damage such as peeling nacre and heavy chipping around the drill hole.
Care and Cleaning
Chemicals Reaction: Attacked by many chemicals and all acids, hair spray, perfume, cosmetics, and even acid perspiration can damage nacre.
Ultrasonic Cleaning: Never,
Steam cleaning: Never,
Warm Soapy Water: Safe for occasional, thorough cleaning (if strung, be sure the string is completely dry before wearing). For continued care, wipe cultured pearls with a very soft, clean cloth after each wearing.
Pearls are said to help one see them selves and help improve self-worth.
Giving a loved one a gift of pearls is one of the nicest gifts one can give. It allows the wearer to see the love of the person who gave them the pearls.