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)

Since the dawn of time, pearls have been cherished for their unique radiance and rare quality. They are thought to symbolize purity, good fortune, and prosperity in many cultures. 

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Not only were these dazzling gems prized by royalty, but they also served as a form of currency due to their value. Furthermore, gifting pearls is known to commemorate or celebrate important life events throughout history.

Today, they are still as popular and alluring as ever. You can buy many different types of pearl jewelry, from earrings and rings to bracelets and necklaces. These timeless accessories are perfect for celebrating special occasions and making a great gift for someone you love. 

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

However, choosing the ideal pearl necklace might be difficult, given the variety of options available. As a jewelry expert, I’m here to help you choose the ideal pearl necklace for every situation. I’ll go through every important detail in this guide, from the kind of pearl to the design and size.

You’ll be able to make an informed decision about your pearl necklace purchase and be confident you’re choosing a piece that will last for generations. So let’s dive right in!

Types of Pearls

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

If you’re shopping for pearls, the first thing to consider is the type of pearl. From the definition of natural and cultural pearls to Akoya, South Sea, and Tahitian Sea pearls, many options exist. Let’s go through the most common types of pearls!

Natural Pearls vs. Cultured Pearls

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

First and foremost, you need to know the difference between natural and cultured pearls. Natural pearls are formed accidentally in the wild without any human intervention. They are extremely rare and valuable due to their unique shapes, colors, and luster. They are disbursed randomly and are difficult to find.

On the other hand, cultured pearls are created by intentionally implanting a small nucleus or tissue into an oyster or mollusk, forming a pearl. As a result, cultured pearls are more affordable and widely available than natural pearls, and their quality can vary depending on the farming techniques used. So, if you’re looking for a pearl necklace on a budget, cultured pearls are your best bet.

Akoya Pearls

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

The next pearl you should consider is the Akoya, a cultured pearl from Japan and China. This radiant gem has a creamy, pinkish-white hue and is known for its incredible luster. These pearls are usually 8-9mm in size and have a round shape.

Akoya pearls are sought after for their classic sophistication, round shape, and uniformity. Because of these outstanding qualities and reasonable cost compared to other cultured pearls, they become a great choice for bridal jewelry pieces as well as formal events - all on a budget!

South Sea Pearls

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

These luxurious pearls are the most coveted in the world and are highly sought after by collectors. South Sea pearls are some of the largest and most valuable pearls in the world, ranging from 9mm to 20mm in diameter. 

They are produced in the warm South Pacific and Australian waters and come in various colors, including white, silver, gold, and champagne. 

South Sea pearls are iconic for their luminous luster and protective nacre, which makes them incredibly resilient and timeless. It is why they tend to be used in exquisite jewelry pieces that demand a greater value than other types of pearls.

Tahitian Pearls

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Finally, Tahitian pearls are some of the rarest and most exotic pearls in the world. They are also known as black pearls but come in various colors, from silver, grey, and green to blue, purple, and pink. They are produced in the warm waters of French Polynesia. These gems are often larger in size than Akoya pearls, ranging from 8mm to 16mm in diameter. 

Tahitian pearls are prized for their unparalleled colors, overtones, and aura of mystery and exoticism. Incorporating them into modern and edgy jewelry designs makes them a go-to choice for trendsetters who want to make an unforgettable statement with their accessories.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pearl Necklace

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

The next important step is to select the right design and size for your pearl necklace. When choosing a design, there are several factors you should consider.

Size, Shape, and Color of Pearls

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

The pearls’ size, shape, and color are essential factors to consider when choosing a pearl necklace. The size of the pearl can affect the overall look and style of the necklace, while the shape and color can influence its elegance and sophistication. 

Shapes of pearls can range from round, semi-round, and baroque to off-round, oval, and button. As for size, they can range from 4mm to 20 mm in diameter. And when it comes to colors, you can choose from various hues, such as white, pink, blue, and green.

For example, round pearls are the most classic and traditional, while baroque pearls have a unique and modern look. So, you should choose the size and shape of pearls that best fit your desired style.

Luster and Surface Quality

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

The luster of a pearl refers to its shine and reflectivity, while the surface quality refers to its smoothness and lack of blemishes. High-quality pearls should have a bright and reflective luster and a smooth surface with minimal blemishes or imperfections.

If you want to make sure that your pearl necklace is of the highest quality, you should look for pearls with bright luster and smooth surfaces.

Type of Necklace and Length

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

The type of necklace and length can significantly impact the overall look and style of the pearl necklace. The most popular types and lengths of pearl necklaces are the following:

Choker: 16 to 18 inches 

Princess: 18 to 20 inches 

Matinee: 22 to 24 inches 

Opera: 28 to 38 inches 

Rope: 40 to 45 inches

When selecting the length of your necklace, you should consider where you will wear it and what kind of neckline it will go with. Each length can complement different necklines and outfits, so it’s essential to choose the right length for the occasion.

Clasp and Metal

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

The clasp and metal utilized to create a pearl necklace can have an immense impact on its longevity, beauty, and security. A reliable closure is necessary if you want to make sure the necklace isn't easily lost or removed. 

By adding metals such as gold, silver, or platinum to complement your pearls’ color will give them a sophisticated edge that fits within any budget! So be sure when picking out materials for your pearl necklaces that they are of high quality in order to ensure their protection and luxurious appearance.

Matching of Pearls

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Perfectly matching pearls is essential if you plan to make a necklace with multiple ones. The pearls must be similar in size, shape, color, luster, and surface quality for this purpose. However, a modern touch can be added by combining different sizes and colors of the gems too!

Still, if you’re looking for a classic and timeless style, then you should opt for pearls with identical characteristics.

With regard to selecting the perfect pearl necklace, it is vital that you think about each of these elements and pick a design that complements your individual sense of style. By keeping all these points in mind, you will be able to obtain the ideal necklace which will make an unforgettable impression.

Precautions and Common Problems

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

If you are going to be wearing your pearl necklace for a long time, it’s important to take proper precautions. Here are some important points to consider.

Beware of Fake Pearls

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

It is of utmost importance to stay vigilant when purchasing pearls, as there are often fake versions sold fraudulently as genuine. Make sure that you only buy from a reputable dealer and be aware of the telltale signs of authenticity, such as weight and feel. 

Glass or plastic beads may also be used in place of pearls, so it’s important not to become complacent with your purchases.

If you want to check if a pearl is real, use the “tooth test” – gently rub the pearls against your teeth. If it feels gritty, it’s likely a real pearl.

Matching Issues

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Obtaining a perfectly coordinated set of pearls is essential, particularly when buying pearl necklaces with multiple strands. To guarantee an impeccable and consistent style, it is critical to ensure each pearl in the necklace has similar sizes, shapes, and hues.

Proper Care and Storage of Pearl Necklaces

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Pearls are delicate and can easily scratch, so it’s essential to handle them with care and store them properly. Avoid exposing pearls to heat, chemicals, and abrasive materials, and wipe them clean with a soft cloth after wearing them. Store them in a soft pouch or jewelry box, away from other jewelry that may scratch them.

Beware of Unethical Practices in the Pearl Industry

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Some pearls are harvested using unethical practices, such as using child labor or damaging the environment. To ensure that you’re buying ethically-sourced pearls, look for certifications from reputable organizations like the Responsible Jewellery Council or the Marine Stewardship Council.

Potential Issues with Shipping and Returns

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

When buying pearl necklaces online, there is always a risk of shipping damage or issues with the product. It’s essential to read the return policy carefully and ensure that the seller offers a guarantee or warranty. When receiving the package, inspect the necklace carefully to ensure that it’s in good condition and matches the description provided.

Where to Buy Pearl Necklaces

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Finally, it’s important to find a reliable source for purchasing pearl necklaces. Choose an established and highly-rated vendor with a good reputation, so you can be sure that you’re getting quality and authentic pearls. Below are some recommended vendors for buying pearl necklaces.

Pearl Paradise

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Pearl Paradise is a one-stop shop for all your pearl jewelry needs! From Akoya to Tahitian, South Sea to freshwater pearls - they offer the finest quality crafted necklaces in an array of styles and colors. Not only that, but you can purchase with confidence knowing your purchases are backed by their 90-day return policy and lifetime warranty. 

Blue Nile

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Blue Nile is a popular online retailer of fine jewelry, including pearl necklaces. They offer a variety of pearl types and styles, including Akoya, freshwater, and Tahitian pearls. They also offer a 30-day return policy and free shipping on all orders.

The Pearl Source

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

If you’re looking for pearl jewelry with timeless elegance, The Pearl Source is your go-to source. Offering an extensive range of Akoya, freshwater, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls in necklaces, earrings, and bracelets – there’s something to suit all tastes! 

And if that wasn’t enough – customers have the added assurance of a 60-day return policy plus a lifetime warranty on every product purchased.


The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Mikimoto stands as an acclaimed jewelry brand celebrated for its exquisite pearl pieces. These include necklaces, earrings, and bracelets made with Akoya, South Sea, or freshwater pearls - each of which can be replaced within the first year and upgraded at any point during their lifespan.

These retailers offer a variety of styles, sizes, and colors of pearl necklaces, so it’s essential to choose a reputable seller that offers a warranty or return policy and uses ethically-sourced pearls.


The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Add a touch of timeless sophistication to your wardrobe with exquisite pearl necklaces. With their natural rarity and captivating beauty, pearls have been prized for thousands of years - making them an extremely valuable investment piece. 

High-grade pearls can maintain or even appreciate in value over time; thus, understanding why they are worth the financial commitment - so don't be hesitant about treating yourself!

When shopping for pearl necklaces, it’s important to consider the type of pearl, the size and shape of the pearls, and their hues. It’s also essential to be aware of unethical practices in the pearl industry and seek certifications from organizations promoting responsible practices. 

The Ultimate Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

When shopping online, make sure you purchase from a reliable vendor who offers an assurance or return policy. Then, you can rest easy knowing that your perfect pearl necklace is secure! By arming yourself with the right information and taking proper care of it, your pearl necklace will be truly timeless and add a touch of elegance to any jewelry collection.