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Choosing the Perfect Pearls

From brides walking down the aisle to 1920’s jazz dancers, nothing says classic and sophisticated like a strand of glistening pearls. Thanks to the advancement of synthetics in manufacturing, it is sometimes difficult to tell when the pearls you’re searching for are authentic, gem quality pearls, or a less valuable substitute. If you’re searching for pearl jewelry in Atlanta, Georgia or a nearby metro area neighborhood, visit Royal Design Fine Jewelry. We provide the world’s most exquisite gems and precious metals for residents of Atlanta to enjoy. Here are a few tips that can help you choose the perfect pearls for yourself or a loved one. 

Cultured vs. Natural

Natural pearls are formed when irritants in the water find their way inside the hard shell of a mussel, clam or oyster. Because of the rarity of naturally occurring pearls, most of the pearls in today’s market are cultured. This means that rather than waiting for nature to take its course, the oysters are “seeded” with a small pearl bead. The oyster then adds the extra layers just as it would under normal circumstances, until it reaches full maturity, which can take up to 3 years. It’s important not to confuse cultured pearls with synthetic pearls which are usually made from plastic or resin. A true cultured pearl is considered gem quality and retain a high value in jewelry collections.  

Picking the Right Pearl Variety

  • Akoya – Akoya pearls are the most well recognized pearl variety. They are known and treasured for their roundness and incredible luster. They are cultivated off the Japanese coast and range in size from 4 to 10 mm. This is the perfect pearl choice for those who want a timeless, classic strand of pearls. 
  • Freshwater – Freshwater pearls are cultivated from fresh water sources and are much less rare. For this reason, they are often less expensive than other kinds of pearls. Freshwater pearls come in a wide range of shapes and color, and are known for their frequent baroque shapes. Sizes normally fall between 5 and 12 mm but much larger pearls have been found. 
  • South Sea – Most often found in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines, South Sea pearls are one of the most rare and expensive varieties in the world. They are treasured for their unique hues that range from pure white to gold. They are also usually much larger than other pearls. The standard South Sea pearl is normally between 10 to 14 mm.
  • Tahitian – Tahitian pearls are formed in the waters of French Polynesia. What makes them most unique is they are the only variety of pearls with a natural shade of black. Though Black Tahitian pearls are highly sought after, they also come in a myriad of colors, from pastel pink to metallic blue. 

Other Factors to Consider

  • Color – While white or ivory toned pearls are certainly the most historically recognized color of pearls, there are many different shades to choose from. From black Tahitian pearls to golden hued South Sea beauties, colored pearls are often very valuable.
  • Shape – Round pearls are the most common pearl shape, but there are alternatives. Teardrop pearls are often used for earrings and necklaces. Other popular shapes include baroque, off-round and ovals. 
  • Luster – Luster refers to the amount of light that is reflected off the pearls. A pearl with high luster will have a high shine and multiple layers of nacre. Most often, the larger the pearl, the more luster it will have. 

Ready to Find Your Perfect Strand of Pearls? Visit Royal Design Fine Jewelry Today

Are looking for a beautiful set of pearls in Atlanta, Georgia or the surrounding metro area? Whether you’re looking for a subtle bracelet, a classic long stranded pearl necklace or a diamond accented set of drop pearl earrings, the experts at Royal Design Fine Jewelry are ready to help you find the perfect piece to add to your collection. 


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