Conch Pearl Buying Guide


What are Conch Pearls?

Conch (pronounced “konk”) pearls aren’t true pearls. Produced by the gastropod Strombus gigas, or Queen Conch, conch pearls have no nacre. Instead, they contain the mineral aragonite, the principal constituent of nacre, in a different configuration. While some still consider these to be “pearls,” we at IGS prefer to use the term “calcareous concretions” to describe these gems. However, we also acknowledge the persistent and popular use of the name “conch pearl.”

Commonly called “the pink pearl,” these gems are exceedingly rare. About one in 10,000 conchs creates a pearl, and only 10% of these are gem-quality. These organic gems are perfect for those seeking something rare from nature, though they do come with a hefty price tag.

Conch Pearl Buying Quality Factors

The four Cs of colored gemstone grading aren’t the best way to evaluate either nacreous or non-nacreous pearl quality. Instead, the calcareous concretion’s color, flame structure, luster, shape/symmetry, texture, and size determine quality.

The IGS conch pearl value listing has price guidelines for conch pearls of all sizes.

Color

Conch pearls occur in the same colors as conch shells: orange, yellow, brown, white, and, most famously, pink. Brown, the …

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Content Length 1294 words
Reading time 6 min 28 sec

Here's what you get if you unlock this article:

  • What are Conch Pearls?
  • Conch Pearl Buying Quality Factors
    • Color
    • Flame Structure
    • Luster
    • Shape and Symmetry
    • Surface
    • Size
  • Sustainability Considerations
  • Jewelry Considerations and Care
  • Cultured Conch Pearls
  • Conch Pearl Simulants

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