Worn by kings, adored by queens and the favorite of many modern day divas, South Sea pearl jewelry has an unrivalled position in the world of jewelry. South Sea pearls have always had a unique place of honor because of their size and quality. Some of these pearls grow to a diameter of 18mm, one of the largest sizes for pearls. The reason for this is simple: the Pinctada maxima, in which the pearl grows, is a huge oyster that can rapidly secrete nacre in the right conditions. South Sea pearls are revered also because of their rarity. Natural South Sea pearls are hard to come by, even in limited numbers. So, collecting enough pearls to make a piece of stunning jewelry is a big thing! And buying one can be even more of an experience.
Shopping for South Sea pearl jewelry can be confusing. Most buyers are unable to distinguish an ordinary pearl from the south sea variety. That is why it is important to learn how to identify South Sea pearls before you buy jewelry.
Luster: The white South Sea pearl is easy to spot because of its magnificently thick layers of natural nacre. This makes the pearl not just lustrous, but gives it a soft, creamy appearance that almost seems as if the pearl were changing its tone according to the light that falls on it. This defining feature has endeared South Sea pearl jewelry to people all over the world. Even though natural pearls are rare, cultured pearls too show the same luster as their natural counterparts.
Color: South Sea pearl jewelry come in a variety of colors. From white and silver to cream, yellow, black and gold, you can have south sea pearl jewelry in a number of captivating shades. Sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you may even get a pearl that displays a lovely -overtone’ of some other color like pink or green. Deep golden colored South sea pearls are rare and expensive too. Also, do not get confused by white and cream. White pearls are costlier, though some merchants label cream as white. Always view the color of the pearl under natural light since pearls tend to change colors with changes in light.
Size: South Sea pearl jewelry may exhibit some really big pearls because they are produced by the largest oyster shell in the world. Of course, in addition to the size of the shell, the amount of nacre secreted by the oyster contributes to the development of really large pearls.
Surface: Do not be put off if you find some surface imperfections in south sea pearl jewelry. You may examine the pearl surface and buy those that exhibit the least number of flaws. However, it is extremely rare to find south sea pearls devoid of any flaws.
Shape: It is very hard to find South Sea pearl jewelry consisting of perfectly rounded pearls. Since these pearls are cultured almost naturally, it is rare to find enough pearls with the perfect shape. South Sea pearl jewelry made of perfectly rounded pearls is therefore costlier. If you are short on cash, you may want to try the baroque shaped pearls instead – very trendy and fun.