Comparison of Round Pearls

Generally the spherical or round pearl is the most valuable shape of a pearl. Most looking for pearl jewelry are looking for spherical visibly round or near round pearls. Fine quality visibly round AAA pearls are highly sought after and fairly rare as they represent less than 1% of the annual pearl harvest. Ask your retailer what percentage of the harvest his cultured pearls come from. If looking for AAA pearls only accept the very best.

Pearl Size Comparison

A comparison of the sizes of Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, Freshwater pearls and South Sea pearls can be seen in the following table:

6 to
6.5 to
7 to
7.5 to
8 to
Half mm
Size N/A
9 to
Half mm
Size N/A
10 to
Half mm
Size N/A
11 to
Half mm
Size N/A
12 to
South Sea

To see other comparisons of the sizes of cultured pearls see the page on pearl sizes

Pearl Overtones

The main overtones seen on white pearls, whether they be freshwater pearls of high quality or akoya pearls (saltwater) are ivory, rose' and silver. The pearls are still white, but have a hint of slight color over the surface that makes them appear either bright white or creamy white or slightly pinkish white. This can be seen in the picture of the Akoya pearl necklaces below.

White with
ivory overtone
White with
silver overtone
White with
rosé overtone

Overtone is also seen in Tahitian pearls. Below are samples of loose Tahitian pearls showing some of the more popular overtones.


Length of Pearl Necklaces

Of course continued consumer demand and popularity have contributed to the popularity of visibly round pearls. The “choker” is recognized world wide as classic fashionable pearl jewelry. Not all round pearls will have high prices however. All value factors must be taken into account when looking at pearls. A visibly round pearl with blemishes, and low luster, will not be as valuable as a visibly round cultured pearl that is virtually blemished free. Of course exceptionally valuable pearl necklaces will have large, spherical pearls that are clean and have excellent AAA luster. These pearls will be very rare and possess infinite beauty.

Nothing says it like Pearls!

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