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Wedding Pearl Jewelry Buying Guide

Pearls are classic wedding jewelry. The elegant beauty of a strand of pearls has fascinated brides for centuries. People believe that wearing pearls on their wedding day will bring bliss to their marriage.

Once rare and expensive, modern cultured pearls have become an affordable luxury. To choose pearl jewelry, consider six factors contribute to the value of a pearl: pearl luster, nacre, shape, surface texture, size, and color.

Pearl Luster- the Essence of a Pearl Beauty
Pearl luster is the most important factor to consider when buying bridal pearls. Luster is also called "inner light" or "inner glow". It is the best expression of a pearl's beauty. A high quality pearl has a brilliant mirror-like surface reflection. Lower quality pearls look dull or milky.

Among all types of cultured pearls, quality Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls have the most beautiful luster.

Pearl Nacre
Nacre is the coating on a pearl surface. It determines how long a pearl will last. A pearl with nacre thickness over 0.4mm will last a life time. Thin nacre that is below 0.2mm will eventually wear off, causing the pearl’s skin to peel. When you shop for bridal pearl jewelry, buy pearls with thick nacre. These pearls will last a long time and will be cherished generation after generation.

Pearl Color
Many colors available for cultured pearls: white, pink, cream, yellow, golden, gray, silver, blue, black and green. The general rule is to choose a pearl color that will flatter your skin and complement your clothing most. White, cream, and black are popular colors for bridal pearl jewelry. Choose a white color to match your white wedding gown and a cream color to match your ivory wedding gown.

Pearl Shape and Surface Texture
Round shape is the most desirable among all shapes. A classic strand of round pearl necklace is ideal for wedding. Pearls are products of nature, and most of them have slight imperfection on the surfaces. Pearls with excessive blemishes have very low value. Pearls with slight blemishes or nearly flawless skin are recommended for bridal pearl jewelry.

Pearl Size and Necklace Length
The most common sizes for pearl necklaces are 6.5-7mm, 7-7.5mm, and 7.5-8mm. The larger the pearl, the more valuable the necklace is. Large pearls create a dramatic look, while small pearls are elegant, they look best on petite women.

The most popular pearl necklace length for a wedding is 14", 16" and 18". 14" or 16" choker is the appropriate length if your wedding gown has high necklines. 18" princess is the ideal length if your wedding gown has low necklines.

Pearl Types
There are four types of cultured pearls:
1.Classic Akoya Pearls
2.Large Exotic Black Tahitian Pearls
3.Large Golden or White South Sea Pearls
4.Inexpensive Decorative Freshwater Pearls

Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls grow in ocean saltwater so they are also called saltwater pearls.

Akoya pearls are the most popular type for wedding because they display a classic, luxurious and fashionable look and they are affordable too.

Where to Buy Wedding Pearls
You can buy bridal pearl jewelry from retail stores, online shops or online auctions. When shopping for bridal pearls, buy pearls from these stores that grade pearls carefully, stores that provide a certificate, and that offer money back guarantees.

After you have decided the type, color, size and quality of pearls that you want, think about your budget. Take your time to shop around and find your perfect bridal pearl jewelry!