The choices are endless when you want to buy pearl Jewelry. There are Natural Pearls (thousands to hundreds of thousands $$$$), there are Cultured Pearls that range from $30 to $30,000, and there are Imitation Pearls which can start at pennies per pearl and up. As you can see, prices vary.
There is nothing more spectacular and than a strand of Natural pearls of the highest quality. They almost glow! Personally I could only afford these in my dreams. Cultured pearls vary in price. Many are dyed, and all are intentionally grown and harvested in “fresh water”, or “sea water.” There is no International standard for rating or grading pearls, however most reputable pearl sellers use a system that grades from A to AAA. In addition pearls come in a variety of different shapes.
Just as there are “knock-off” purses designed to look like high-end purses, so it is with pearls. These are known as Imitation Pearls which are man-made, and designed to resemble real pearls. A variety of sources is used to create these pearls including glass, plastic, and real shells.
So how do you decide? You need to determine your purpose for wearing pearls.
If you like the idea that you are buying something rare and spectacular and you have the budget to match it, find a reputable
If you love the variety, color and shapes of pearls, and you want “genuine”pearls, then look for cultured pearls.
Prices vary, so determine why you are wearing pearls and match accordingly. You still need to treat these pearls delicately in your care, and wear. So again, if that isn’t your nature, you may want to choose Imitation pearls.
You can get such a beautiful variety of colors and lustre in these pearls, they do capture your heart.
If you like jewelry that is mixed with a variety of different beads, if you love to match pearls outfits, or your budget is limite, then consider imitation pearls. These pearls still have a coating that is generally strong and holds up to daily wear. You’re likely to find the largest variety of colorful pearls in the Imitation variety. Swarovski, the crystal creators has their own line of “glass pearls” which are consided imitation pearls. If you’re not gentle with your jewelry, then imitation pearls are a very good choice.
I’ll provide more in-depth information about cultured and imitation pearls, and buying tools, in another blog post.
At Mariska’s Jewelry Designs, we use cultured and glass (imitation) pearls in our jewelry.
Mary Costa aka "Mariska" & Jewelry Matchmaker®
We create jewelry to match and adorn the beautiful spirit of a woman.
Sign up for our Newsletter below