Pearl earrings are classy and timeless. If you’re looking for a pair that will be stylish and durable, consider the factors we have listed below.
The Color of Pearls
Natural pearls may be white, cream, black, gold, grey, or silver. Pearls come from many different areas and types of oysters, which often correspond to the color of pearl.
True black pearls are rare and come from South Seas oysters; many black pearls on the market are actually white pearls that have been dyed.
Pearls can also be dyed to appear green, red, blue, or pink-tinged.
Natural vs. Cultured Pearls
It’s far more effective to “implant” a pearl into an oyster than to continuously dive and search for good-quality pearls.
The most rare and expensive pearls are taken from free-growing oysters.
However, most pearls are cultivated by deliberately placing a particle in the oyster and monitoring its development.
Since true pearls are created by layers of nacre over time, natural round pearls are very rare. Perfectly round pearl earrings would be very expensive for natural pearls!
Most pearl earrings available are cultured pearls.
For pearl earrings, it’s important that the pearls match in shape and size. Make sure to look at them carefully, both on and off, to see if they’re symmetrical.
Try on pearl earrings before buying. The size of the pearls should be proportionate to your face shape and size.
If you have a small face, large pearl drop earrings might overwhelm your features!
Luster is not how shiny the pearl is, but how reflective the surface is. The higher the luster, the more the pearl will reflect like a mirror and appear to glow.
Pearls with poor luster will have “muddy” or distorted reflections.
Surface Quality and Thickness
Pearls can be bumpy, wrinkly, or scratched on the surface. Check carefully to ensure a smooth, unblemished surface.
Also look at where the hole has been drilled in the pearl – if it looks cracked, that means the pearl is thin and may be prone to more cracking over time.
If you shop at a jewelry store, look for pearl earrings that have been appraised or have a certificate of authenticity to be sure you are getting real pearls.
Jewelers often grade pearls according to a rating system – A for lowest-quality and AAA for highest.
Pearls are graded based on color, luster, thickness of nacre, size, and surface quality.
Decide which of these qualities are most important to you and you can budget appropriately for the pearl you want.
Some people also use the “tooth test” – rubbing a real pearl against the edge of your tooth will feel gritty, while a fake pearl will feel smooth.
Popular Styles of Pearl Earrings
Pearls look great with diamond accents.
Drop earrings with a single round or teardrop pearl are very eye-catching. Simple pearl studs are elegant and suitable for young girls or businesswomen.
Short dangly earrings are still professional-looking, while long chandelier earrings are more appropriate for evening wear.
Different color pearls also pair well together – for example, in an earring with a small cluster of black, white or cream pearls.
Pearl earrings more commonly come in sterling silver or white gold settings, but yellow gold is available as well.