Pearl Buying GuidePearl Buying Guide

Pearl Specialist Mini Course

Pearl Buying Guide

With only handfuls of natural pearls collected each year, their extreme rarity pushes the prices of these gems ever higher. Fortunately for those on a budget, their cultured equivalents are abundant and available at a wide range of prices. Nevertheless, even purchasing a simple pearl necklace requires understanding pearl quality.

The amount of information about pearls available today can easily overwhelm a first-time buyer. To cut through the confusion, read the following brief beginner’s guide to pearl buying before getting into quality considerations for pearl connoisseurs.

A Beginner’s Guide to Pearl Buying

First and foremost, always purchase from a trusted jeweler with a good return policy, and remember: buy what you like! With the cultured pearl industry’s innovations, you’ve never had so many pearl jewelry choices.

Color and Style

Nowadays, pearl jewelry comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors to suit classic and modern tastes. Consider your wardrobe and skin tone when deciding on pearl color and style.

While pearls occur in all colors, traditional white ranks as the most popular and expensive. With a wide variety of treatments, pearls can be well matched in any color. However, some treatments may fade with time or wear.

If you’re shopping…

Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

Never Stop Learning

When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

Become a Member

Get Gemology Insights

Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!