Buy the correct freshwater pearl necklace or bracelet


Buying the correct freshwater cultured pearl

Giving and receiving freshwater pearls is certainly a great feeling whatever your age. However, it’s important you know what you’re buying. Our guide below will have you quickly on your way to buying the best cultured pearl for your needs.

Harvesting and culturing

Due to overharvesting, pearls have becoming increasingly rare to find in the wild. A freshwater pearl is now more commonly dealt with a trained professional who inserts an irritant into the freshwater mussel to produce the nacre that subsequently covers the irritant.

One should consider that a pearl necklace or bracelet follows a very labour intensive process to end up around one’s neck or wrist. Approximately 50% of all oysters and mussels seeded each year will not produce pearls that will be worthy of buying. Of the pearls that pass this test, they must be matched up with the same quality, colour, shape and size of other pearls to create a bracelet or necklace as we’ll see below.

Qualities and grades

For a pearl to be worthy it must be graded. The factors that come into play are: shape, lustre, surface quality, thickness of the nacre and matching on the strand.

An example of a top quality AAA cultured pearl would be a perfect round shape, with high lustre, an almost 100% clean surface, a nacre of over 0.5% and the pearls to match well enough. On the other side is the A grade, and although worthy or wearing, a keen eye would be able to find discrepancies. Expect a near round shape, fair lustre, less than 75% clean, a 0.25 – 0.35mm nacre and fair matching.

When buying a freshwater pearl consider that nacre thickness is much less an issue as due to the process of culturing – implantation of tissue – that prevents the pearl from wearing out. In addition to the fact it takes years upon years for a freshwater pearl to grow, buying a cultured pearl of this variety signifies the utmost quality.

Colour and shape

There are seven pearl shapes that you may consider purchasing – round, near round, oval, drop, baroque and circle. Of these, the round shape tends to be the rarest, the most sought after and has the inclination to be the most expensive.

That said, a truly large round pearl is difficult to find, instead, a lot of pearls are ‘off-round’ and can mesmerise just as much as any round pearl.

Think about value when buying a freshwater pearl.  An ‘off round’ shape may provide you with more pearl for your money and still look as glamorous as the rare rounded types.

Pearl sizes

To measure a pearl, it should be measured via the diameter perpendicular to the alignment of the drill hole. Oval pearl sizes range from 6mm all the way up to 8.5mm. Round pearls range from 4mm all the way up to 10mm. Of course, larger pearls increase in expense but think about how the pearls will suit the outfit of the wearer and their own personality.

What’s more important is the uniformity, or lack of, namely graduated. A uniform necklace stays within a defined range of millimetres whilst a graduated pearl necklace may have up 3mm in difference between pearls.

Mantolin Pearls pride themselves on providing you the utmost quality freshwater pearl necklaces bracelets and earrings. Their pearls come in a variety of colours from pearl white necklaces to pink pearls, you have an array of luxurious gems to choose from at