Boles-Ingenito, LTD

Pearl & Diamond Importers

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Boles-Ingenito, Ltd. - Pearl Guide
Looking for more information before you buy or just want more of a guide on pearls? We have built this pearl guide to provide you with all of the pearl information you need to understand what makes pearls and pearl jewelry vary in price, color, and style. Our firm is also available via email to answer any questions you may have that are not in this pearl guide.

Our Pearls
Freshwater Pearls - These pearls are grown in freshwater and often contain more nacre (or more pearl) than most of their saltwater pearl cousins. This means that they have a higher luster than most pearls. Though generally similar in appearance to saltwater pearls, they are more affordable because they are grown in mussels that can produce many times the amount that saltwater oysters can.

Akoya Saltwater Pearls - Saltwater pearls are valuable when theyhave a rounded shape and high luster. This luster makes them shine. Grown in small akoya oysters, this type of pearl ranges from 2 to 10 millimeters and is extremely well suited for pearl jewelry and pearl necklaces because of the consistent shape and color. They grow predominantly in Japan, China, and Vietnam. Akoya saltwater pearls tend to be rarer and more expensive than their freshwater brethren because of their scarcity. They are generally white or cream colored with overtones of rose, silver, and even green.

Our Pearl Guide | Learn Before You Buy Pearls

Telling the Quality of a Pearl
There are the following ratings for pearls: A, AA, AA+, and AAA, with AA+ and AAA being the higher quality, which we use in all our pearl jewelry. These pearl ratings are determined by six main categories such as:

Color - There are basically two components to the color of pearls: thier body and overtone. The body is white, cream, black or pink usually, but can also be green, blue, or golden. The overtone is another color that exists over the body of the pearl. This can include silver, pink or green. However, color has little effect on the value of a pearl, but some colors are obviosuly preferred to match skin tone of the buyer.

Luster - This is possibly the most important part in judging the value of pearls. High luster is extremely desirable, with the most valued pearls having the mirror-like appearance. This is the result of a thicker layer of nacre from a longer incubation period inside the mollusk.

Nacre Thickness - Nacre is the layer of calcium carbonate giving the pearl its distinctive appearance. The thickness of the nacre depends on length of time that the pearl grows inside of the oyster. The thicker the layers of nacre, the larger the pearl and more valuable and rare it is.

Shape - Pearls come in many different shapes, though round tends to be the most desirable and most sought after. Other shapes include baroque, button, tear drop, and near round. These other shapes may be desirable based on jewelry type (flat backed pearls often work well as earrings) or personal preference.

Size - Pealr size is largely a personal preference, depending on whether you prefer small or large pearls. However, size does affect the price, with larger unblemished pearls being more expensive since they take much longer to cultivate.

Surface - More desirable pearls have clean surfaces. Though a perfect pearl is extremely rare, you should look for pearls with the fewest blemishes or wrinkles in the surface of the pearl.

Cultured Pearls and Natural Pearls
Cultured Pearls (farm-grown) are the most frequent type of pearl. They are a little more affordable than natural pearls, which form when an irritant naturally enters the shell of the oyster and a defense mechanism coats the object in layers of calcium carbonate called nacre. Only one oyster in every several hundred will produce a natural pearl, which is why they have been of such great value.

Cultured pearls evolve in the same way as natural ones, but farmers intentionally place irritants in the oysters to begin the formation of the pearl. This process continues for at least six months, although most farms will grow the pearl for several years. The best way to tell the difference between a cultured pearl and a natural pearl is by gemological x-ray, as the difference in appearance is often relatively slight.

We welcome feedback on our online pearl guide!