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South Sea pearls

What do I look for when buying South Sea pearls?

I’m often asked what I look for when I’m searching for and procuring the exceptional South Seas pearls that are used by Lust Pearls.

Let me be clear – I am not interested in buying cheap or compromising on quality. I have very demanding standards and nothing but the finest quality pearls make it into my possession and the catalogue of Lust Pearls’ creative designs.

Now obviously, I don’t want to give TOO many secrets away about how I go about things and where.  I can though state a few general points that catch my eye when I am buying:

  • This is a difficult concept to explain because many people believe that the best pearls are perfectly spherical and very large. Actually, neither of those two things are quite right.

It is rarer for real pearls to be perfectly spherical, very particularly as the pearls become larger.  Mostly these items you see impersonating real pearls are artificial or synthetic pearls as they are machine-made.

Of course, typically the larger the pearl the more expensive it will be but that assumes all other aspects are equal, such as shape and colour etc. In fact, some smaller pearls may be worth far more than larger ones’ due to varying characteristics of the pearl.

What I look for is a pearl that simply “looks right” and is cohesive in its proportions.  I can’t explain it – it’s about experience which is developed overtime of working with these beautiful gems from the seeing of them, feeling them. I know this next comment may sound odd but it can be the sound they make when they touch each other. This is something we learn overtime after handling larger quantities.  How they feel in your hands. 

  • Pearls vary in their colours, tones and particularly, luminescence. I look for those that stand out and shine. 
  • A very important aspect that brings everything together and makes it a pleasure to look at these gems. 
  • Natural pearls will often have small natural imperfections or perhaps inconsistencies of shape, colour or surface. I touched on this above.

Now I love these because they express the fact that each pearl is an individual. No human being is perfect and few if any pearls are.

However, the pearls I select must meet certain strict criteria in this respect and I’m pretty ruthless about rejecting those that don’t.

Now I’ve made this sound far too easy and in fact, there are many different things I look for in pearls. However, I hope this has given you at least some feeling for the care I take!

Read some top tips for buying pearl jewellery online


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