Pearl Color Characteristics

Pearls are organic gems. And like most organic objects, they are usually found in an array of colors. The layers in the nacre of a pearl create much more than just one single color in a pearl. There is actually a complex mix of colors, which can be seen readily to the naked eye. Colors of pearls can have three main characteristics:

Body Color: The dominant, overall color of a pearl.
Overtone: One or more translucent colors that appear over a pearl’s body color.
Orient: Iridescent, rainbow colors shimmering on or just below a pearl’s surface.

Body color is one of the factors influencing the value of a pearl. All pearls display body color however not all pearls possess overtone though and very few pearl posses good orient. Orient is without a doubt the most prized characteristic pertaining to Body color. High orient is seen most often in baroque pearls such as the Black Tahitian pearl necklaces and Black Tahitian pearl bracelets, It is often seen in the Freshwater Orient pearls. Pearl jewelry with displays of orient are always outstanding pieces.