Susan Miller

·Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry Design, Pratt Institute, 2012

·Bachelor of Arts in Gemology, University of California, Los Angeles, May 2005

·Editor-in-Chief, White Victoria (2018 - present)

·Write and research feature articles and profiles for print and online publication

·Contributing Writer, Modern Jeweler and Ornament

·Write and publish freelance articles for IGS and WSJ Magazine

·Jewelry Appraiser (2012 - 2020)

Pearls have long been a symbol of luxury, worn throughout the ages by royalty and elite members of society. Nowadays, we all can wear them - whatever our budget!

Pearl Jewelry

As a jewelry expert, I can assure you that finding quality pearl jewelry at an affordable price is not as difficult as it may seem: with a little bit of searching, you’ll find plenty of options.

Whether you prefer freshwater pearls or cultured pearls, timeless jewelry pieces, or contemporary designs - this post will give you plenty of ideas for incorporating these beautiful gems into your life on any budget. So read on for my favorite classic and modern pearl jewelry pieces priced to fit any wallet!

Factors Affecting the Price of Pearls

Pearl Jewelry

The first thing to analyze when shopping for pearl jewelry is the factors that affect its price. Of course, a bigger and heavier pearl will cost more than a small one. 

But you also need to look at other factors, such as the quality of the pearl, its color and luster, and the type of setting used.

Type of Pearl

Pearl Jewelry

The type of pearl is one of the most important factors when considering the price of your jewelry. For example, South Sea pearls are often among the most expensive due to their large size and high luster. 

On the other hand, Freshwater pearls typically cost less than South Sea pearls but still offer a beautiful range of colors and shapes. 

Akoya pearls are also popular for their classic round shape and vibrant colors. Unfortunately, natural pearls are extremely rare and, therefore, very valuable. 

Baroque pearls tend to be less expensive than round cultured pearls due to their unique shapes.

Pearl Size

Pearl Jewelry

Pearl size is another major factor in the price of pearl jewelry. Generally speaking, larger pearls are rare and, therefore, more expensive than smaller ones. 

For example, a 10mm Akoya pearl necklace may cost more than an 8mm necklace due to the larger size. 

Pearl Luster

Pearl Jewelry

Luster is an important factor in determining pearl value as it describes the reflection of light off the surface of a pearl’s nacre (the outer layers). 

Pearls with higher luster have a brighter shine which distinguishes them from cheaper imitation pearls or shells that have been dyed in color. This makes them generally more valuable than those with lower luster.

Pearl Shape

Pearl Jewelry

Pearls come in different shapes, which also affects their price. For example, baroque pearls are much less expensive than round cultured pearls due to their unique shapes, which makes them less desirable for use in jewelry pieces. 

Rounder-shaped cultured saltwater Pearls such as Akoyas or Tahitians will typically command higher prices than freshwater baroque-shaped ones, which are usually irregularly shaped with interesting textures like bumps or ridges across their surface area.

Pearl Color

Pearl Jewelry

The color of a pearl can make it stand out from other similar pieces. Each pearl carries its own array of shades, ranging from pinkish lavenders to deep eggplant purples or greyish blues, depending on the species type. 

Some colors, like silver-grey or white, may be preferred over pastel greens or vivid oranges. 

However, delicate gradients of color can attract various kinds of buyers, depending on their personal preferences. As a result, color is another key factor that can impact the pricing potential of certain types, hues, and qualities within specific species’ ranges.

Pearl Surface Quality

Pearl Jewelry

Surface quality affects appearance and durability, impacting a pearl’s worth. 

So, fine pearls with fewer blemishes tend to be more valuable than those with visible flaws or imperfections that require additional polishing or setting work before they can be used in jewelry pieces.

Affordable Pearl Jewelry Options

Pearl Jewelry

Now that you know all the factors that affect the price of pearl jewelry, here are some affordable but high-quality options. 

Freshwater Pearl Stud Earrings

Pearl Jewelry

If you’re looking to add a classic element of elegance and sophistication to your collection, these 8.5-9.0 mm white freshwater pearl earrings are an ideal choice for their price!

Adorned with two AAA quality pearls expertly selected for their round shape and brilliant luster, they come mounted on solid 14-karat gold posts to last you through all your special occasions.

Akoya Pearl Pendant Necklace

Pearl Jewelry

For those who are seeking a more sophisticated look, the pendant from the Morning Dew collection by Mikimoto is exactly what you need.

This elegant necklace features an 8mm Akoya cultured pendant. It is adorned with 0.16cttw diamonds set in 18k white gold that glistens as dew drops on a morning sunrise.

The chain for this beautiful piece measures 18 inches long but can easily be worn at 16 inches too!

Baroque Pearl Bracelet

Pearl Jewelry

A baroque pearl bracelet is quite affordable option for those who prefer something more unique and Bohemian.

This stunning piece features a baroque freshwater pearl shape, with an 8mm size and 7.5” (19cm) length, and is set in rhodium-plated sterling silver for added brilliance.

It will become your affordable yet stylish go-to piece whenever you want to make a statement!

Pearl Drop Earrings

Pearl Jewelry

These stunning and exquisitely-crafted white twin freshwater pearl drop earrings are the perfect complement to your jewelry collection at a reasonable price.

At just the right length, they feature two natural freshwater pearls in round shapes of 5.5mm and 7.5 mm with a small silver chain and bead between them that will surely attract pearl-loving muses!

Pearl Choker Necklace

Pearl Jewelry

If you’re looking for an elegant yet affordable pearl choker necklace, this is the one for you!

The Melody Collection by Cult Gaia offers a golden pearl necklace, adjustable in length from 16-1/4” to 19”, closed securely with lobster clasp closure. A stunning choice for any jewelry lover!

Mabe Pearl Ring

Pearl Jewelry

Make a bold statement with this gorgeous yet affordable 15mm freshwater Mabe Pearl Ring! An attention-grabbing piece that is set in sterling silver, it will instantly dress up any outfit.

Whether you’re looking for something simple and affordable yet elegant or just want to make heads turn - this ring has got you covered.

Biwa Pearl Earrings

Pearl Jewelry

A single, enigmatic grey freshwater pearl delicately dangles from a lustrous white freshwater pearl stud in this timelessly stylish design.

Delicately swaying with each movement, this look's captivating “pearl drop” is an eye-catching addition to any ensemble.

With their sleek styling and stunning details, these Biwa pearl earrings are the perfect way to show off your love for pearls without breaking the bank.

Keshi Pearl Jewelry

Pearl Jewelry

If you need to add a touch of class to your wardrobe but want an affordable option, Keshi pearl jewelry is the way to go.

If you’re a South Sea Keshi pearl jewelry fan, then these one-of-a-kind baroque stud earrings from Seven Seas Pearls are must-haves!

Exquisitely crafted in 14kt gold and rated AAA Flawless, the pearls feature an alluring natural white hue with sizes ranging from 11 to 10.5mm. Timeless and elegant – what more could you want?

Rice Pearl Necklaces

Pearl Jewelry

Another option for those looking for a beautiful and affordable pearl necklace is a rice pearl necklace.

Crafted from 14Kt gold and strung with luminous freshwater rice pearls, this choker necklace is a must-have addition to any wardrobe.

Wear it alone for an elegant look, or layer it with other pieces to create your unique style.

The 3.5x2mm white pearls glisten against the gold closure while its length provides maximum comfort at 14.75”. Let your inner light radiate in this luxurious piece!

Coin Pearl Earrings

Pearl Jewelry

J. Mill’s exquisite coin pearl earrings in 14k gold filled or sterling silver posts are the perfect modern take on a beloved classic for an affordable price!

These earrings are sure to become one of your favorite accessories! They feature 8mm coin pearls with a unique, flat shape and an elegant off-round form.

These earrings are great for any occasion and add an effortless class touch to any ensemble.

Seed Pearl Bracelet

Pearl Jewelry

Last but not least, for a unique and affordable gift, don’t miss out on this delicate seed pearl bracelet with a sterling silver clasp!

This timeless design features small white seed pearls for a romantic look that will never go out of style. Whether you want to give this as a gift or keep it for yourself, this affordable bracelet will surely make any ensemble sparkle!

Pearls and Fashion

Pearl Jewelry

Pearls are a timeless fashion trend that can be incorporated into any wardrobe. 

When it comes to wearing pearls, the most important thing to remember is to keep it simple; a single strand of classic white Akoya or Freshwater pearls will always make an elegant statement.

Pearl jewelry is also perfect for special occasions. A timeless pearl necklace with a pendant adds sophistication and glamour for formal events such as weddings, anniversaries, and balls, while simple stud earrings in different colors or sizes can provide a subtle yet effective touch of elegance for everyday outfits.

For more daring looks, opt for bolder pieces like dresses adorned with freshwater pearls or intricate Tahitian chokers that can really turn heads when you enter the room. 

Pearl Jewelry

You can mix and match pearl jewelry with other accessories, such as gold chains or diamonds, to create unique combinations that reflect your style.

Finally, don’t forget the power of mixing different textures when incorporating pearls into your overall look. 

From classic silk fabrics to modern structured jackets and everything in between, finding creative ways to wear pearl jewelry can add an elegant yet playful touch to any outfit.


Pearl Jewelry

No matter your budget or style, there is a pearl jewelry piece that you can use to elevate any ensemble. 

The affordability and versatility of pearls make them the perfect choice to add a special touch of class and elegance to any wardrobe. 

So, whether you’re looking for something simple and timeless, or a bold and daring piece, you’ll be sure to find something that meets your needs – all at an affordable price. 

From classically beautiful Rice Pearls to daring Seed Pearl Bracelets, you can be sure your pearl jewelry will make a lasting impression for years. So, check my selection out and find the perfect piece for you!


What is the best type of pearl for everyday wear?

Pearl Jewelry

Akoya and Freshwater pearls are the best for everyday wear due to their durability and affordability. They are also available in various colors, shapes, and sizes, so you can easily find one that fits your style. 

Are freshwater pearls inferior to other types of pearls?

No, freshwater pearls are not inferior to other types of pearls; they just vary in cost and quality depending on their source. Freshwater pearls are generally more affordable than Akoya or Tahitian pearls, making them great choices for everyday wear. 

Can you wear pearl jewelry with casual outfits?

Pearl Jewelry

Yes, pearl jewelry can be worn with casual outfits when styled appropriately. Instead, opt for simple stud earrings or a single-strand necklace to add subtle sophistication. You can also mix and match different textures like pearls, gold chains, and diamonds to create unique combinations that reflect your style. 

How should I clean my pearl jewelry?

The best way to clean pearl jewelry is to use a soft cloth dampened with lukewarm water and mild detergent, then wipe with a dry cloth before being stored away. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your pearls, as these can damage the delicate luster. 

What factors affect pearl quality?

Factors that affect pearl quality include the type of pearl, size, luster, shape, color, and surface quality. For example, Akoya pearls are generally of higher quality than freshwater pearls due to their more consistent size and luster. Size is also important, as larger pearls tend to be more valuable.