How to Tell Nacre Quality of Pearls

The thickness and quality of the nacre, other than having a direct effect on the luster, could be the difference between a clean pearl and a blemished pearl. When one looks for pearl jewelry, the nacre thickness is often an issue. The thicker the nacre, the more lustrous the pearl appears and the more durable the pearl will be. Pearls with thick nacre can last decades while maintaining an attractive appearance. The quality of a pearls’ nacre can be classified in three ways:

Acceptable – The nucleus of the pearl is not noticeable. There is no chalky appearance.

Nucleus Visible – The pearl shows evidence of its bead nucleus through the nacre. Strong blinking when rotated is noticeable. (Flickering lighter and darker).

Chalky Appearance – Dull whitish appearance on the pearl. Looks more like a plastic bead than a cultured pearl.

To check the nacre quality of pearl necklaces hold the strand with both hands in an area of good natural lighting and slowly rotate the strand looking for the factors mentioned above.