Out of all jewelry types, pearls continue to be one of the most valuable jewels which complement every woman’s accessory collection. Besides their fascinating history, pearls are best known for their unique design and versatility which undoubtedly make any outfit look significantly more elegant.

In fact, almost every runway show presents a new style of pearls making them the best jewelry piece you can add to your look. From the classic pearl necklace to the chunky pearl bracelets, there is a wide variety of pearl styles to match every woman’s taste and preference.

Due to their timeless and elegant appearance, pearls have long been given as gifts. However, with so many pearl styles and designs out there, sometimes it can be overwhelming to choose the best pearls for you or your loved one.

But, there is no need to worry since we are giving you a brief shopping guide to help you make the entire pearl buying process much easier. Keep reading to find out about what you should look out for when you are shopping for this classic piece of jewelry.

Choosing your pearl type

There are four main types of pearls which all have their own beauty and vary in size, color and shape. Here is a brief description of each pearl type.

Akoya pearls

The Akoya pearls are the truest classic pearl type mostly known for their incredibly high luster. They are usually the first pearl strand a woman receives as a gift or with which she starts her pearl collection. So if you are striving for elegance with your outfit, choose this pearl type.

Freshwater pearls

Freshwater pearls are among the rarest pearl types best known for their unusual shape, size and colors. Because they don’t typically possess the glossy, metallic finish like the Akoya pearls, they are most distinguished because of their surface texture and satiny luster. These are the perfect pearl type if you want a bold look.

Tahitian pearls

The most unique type of pearls are the Tahitian pearls. Originating from French Polynesia, these pearls usually come in darker hues making them among the most sought-after jewels. Therefore, if you want to add a twist to your white pearl collection, make sure you go for a pair of black Tahitian pearls.

South Sea pearls

South Sea pearls are the most exceptional quality pearls as a result of their stunning colors, smoothness and roundness. Alongside Tahitian pearls, the South Sea pearls are also the most highly sought-after among jewelry lovers who like wearing unique designs. Therefore, they are the perfect choice when you are wearing a statement outfit.    

Examine the qualities

When you are shopping for pearl jewelry, there are several things you must look out for which determine the overall value of a pearl.


The color of the pearls typically depends on the pearl type. However, you should pay attention to the body color and the overtone color of the pearls. The first refers to the primary hue of the pearl, whereas the latter is the sheen that glazes the bead. The colors of all pearl types vary from bright to dark hues.


Out of all pearl characteristics, the luster quality is the most influential when it comes to determining the value of the pearls. High-quality pearls seem as though they are able to reflect light. Therefore, the shinier the pearl is, the more valuable it is. The Akoya pearls are said to have the most luster out of all pearl types.


Pearls are available in all kinds of shapes with round being the most valuable because rounded pearls are the most difficult to form. Such pearls are perfectly spherical and don’t have any surface imperfections. On the other hand, the baroque shape of pearls is the most irregular one with many lumps and asymmetrical curves.


The size of the pearl depends on the type of conditions it was grown in which further determines the value of the jewel. The larger the pearl is, the more valuable it is. Each pearl type varies significantly from one to another. All in all, the most popular size of pearls usually ranges between 7.0 mm to 9.5 mm.

Surface quality

The surface condition of the pearl also determines its value and durability. A high-quality pearl will most likely have a bright reflection and a smooth surface. However, it is often difficult to find pearls that are blemish-free. Sometimes those small marks, lumps or other imperfections are what make the pearl so special and unique.

Choose your style

Whether you want a necklace or a pair of studs, you should also think about the style you want for your pearl jewelry. For example, if you are shopping for a pearl necklace, think about the length of your piece. Decide whether you want:

  • A princess strand which is regarded as the most favorite type among pearl lovers due to its refined look
  • A matinee strand which is the second-most favorite usually reserved for semi-formal events
  • An opera strand which is considered as the most formal type

Decide on your price range

Each pearl type varies in price as a result of its qualities with rarity being the most important one. Therefore, depending on your preferences, it is recommended that you think about the pearl characteristics which will help you determine your budget.

Also, the pearl jewelry style you want to buy also determines your price range. For example, the price of an Akoya pendant necklace is lower than the price of a South Sea pendant, and so on.

Final thoughts

No matter if you are looking to buy pearls for you or your loved ones, this fine piece of jewelry is the most classic, elegant and sophisticated. The fact that they can be worn with any outfit simply proves that they will never go out of style. However, before you hit the pearl jewelry stores, it is important that you familiarize yourself with everything you need to know when you are purchasing these fine jewels. Therefore, make sure you refer back to this brief shopping guide which will undoubtedly help you throughout your pearl buying process.