The Five Virtues Of A Pearl
The pearl is one of the most beautiful of gems. In appreciating its beauty, we need to understand its virtues. Pearls are valued by their individuality.
Here are the five virtues that should be considered before purchasing yourself a pearl.
Freshwater pearls range in size from 4 to 25mm. These are versatile gemstones cultivated in freshwater as opposed to sea or saltwater. Today, they can be found to be very large in the baroque form but are relatively rare. Typically, the larger the size, the greater the value.
Freshwater pearls come in a large range of shapes and sizes. Round, freshwater pearls are very sought after. They look almost identical to Akoya pearls but are much less expensive. The shape of a pearl does not affect its quality but it does affect its value.
Perfectly round pearls are very desirable so are considered the most valuable of all shapes. Today, the very large baroque pearl is also very desirable and prices are rising as we see beautiful one off pieces being designed using this shape.
Lustrous white pearls tend to throw beautiful pink overtones as they hit the light. These are the most sought after but in all colour is a very personal choice. Freshwater pearls are the easiest to colour because their nacre is not as dense as saltwater pearls.
This refers to the quality of the surface of the pearl, the number and size of the natural markings and their visibility. As they are natural gems, a pearl with a flawless surface is exceptionally rare.
Lustre is probably the most important of qualities. This describes the luminous quality of the pearl surface, the way in which the light reflects from the earl surface. Lustre can be described as a visible phenomenon that occurs when light strikes the nacre on the surface of the pearl and is then reflected back to the viewer. The lustre is more intense the tighter and more compact the nacre layers are. The soft rainbow colours that reflect from the pearl surface is mesmerising.
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