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Pearl Necklace Buying Guide

Pearl necklaces are classic yet modern jewelry. The beauty of pearl necklaces is everlasting. Before cultured pearls were invented, pearl necklaces were a luxury and considered noble jewelry. A strand of pearl necklace could worth a fortune. Nowadays, cultured pearl necklaces have taken places of natural pearl necklaces for their comparable beauty and affordability.

Though cultured pearl necklaces have similarities, there are some big gaps in prices of pearl necklaces. A strand of gem quality Tahitian pearl necklace could be sold for over one million dollars at pearl auctions, while some freshwater pearl necklaces are priced under $50.

Pearl Necklace Types

There are four types of pearl necklaces--freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearl necklaces. For luxurious and impressive pearls, choose Tahitian and South Sea pearls. For high class pearl jewelry, choose Akoya pearl necklaces (Akoya means saltwater in Japanese). For lower prices, choose freshwater pearl necklaces.

Pearl Necklace Length

There are six lengths for pearl necklaces: collar, choker, princess, matinee, opera and rope.

Collar pearl necklaces are 12 - 13 inches. Multi-strands of collar necklaces achieve a very fashionable look.

Choker pearl necklaces are 14 - 16 inches and they are commonly worn from casual to formal wear.

Princess pearl necklaces are 17 - 19 inches and they can be worn in any occasions. Princess is the classic necklace length.

Matinee pearl necklaces are 20 - 24 inches and they suit ideally for casual, business wear or fancy wear. Matinee necklaces create a professional look.

Opera pearl necklaces are 28 - 34 inches and they go best with formal wear. They can be worn as a single strand or double strand.

Rope pearl necklaces are over 45 inches and they look ideal with dresses. They can be worn as a double strands or triple strands.

Pearl Necklace Colors

Colors of pearl necklaces include white, pink, cream, golden, black, gray and silver. The most popular colors are white and black. Choosing pearl color is all personal preference. Consider buying pearl necklaces with colors that would coordinate your clothing.

Pearl Necklace Quality

Next, evaluate pearl necklace quality. Pearl quality is determined by pearl luster, nacre thickness, and surface quality. The highest quality is AAA grade. AAA quality pearl necklaces have beautiful luster, thick nacre and very little surface imperfections. AAA pearls are the most desirable and valuable. They are impressive gifts to give someone who cares about quality and value.

Buying Pearl Necklaces

When buying a pearl necklace, it is also important to examine the matching and workmanship of the pearl necklace. Poorly matched pearl necklaces with obvious color differences won't show the beauty of the necklaces and therefore they are devalued. Put a pearl necklace on your finger and let it hang down; examine whether the line of the necklace is straight, whether the knotted tie is too tight or too loose, and whether the finish is beautiful.

After you buy pearl necklaces, always keep in mind that pearls are soft gems and they need special care to keep their beauty last long.