Pearl Necklace Buying Guide – How to Choose a Good Pearl Necklace

Read some of the considerations you need to take into before purchasing a pearl necklace.

Choosing a good pearl necklace is all about choosing good pearls. As we have so many kinds of pearls on the market, its’ important that you need to a good research about them and pick pearls that suit your budget and appearance requirements well. The guide will tell you all the things that you need to know prior to purchasing a pearl necklace.

Understanding Different Types of Pearls

Pearls cost you anywhere between $10 and $500 or more depending upon their type. Pearls are classified into four types, which are freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and South Sea pearls.

Freshwater Pearls:

Freshwater pearls are cheapest pearls on the market, and they are often used to make affordable pearl ornaments such as necklaces.  Freshwater pearls are cultivated and mass-produced in many countries around the world, especially the countries of the East.

Akoya Pearls:

Akoya pearls are not as cheap as freshwater pearls, but they aren’t very expensive either. Akoya pearls are known for their perfectly round shape and high luster. Japan has been a world leader of producing Akoya pearls. An average woman with a decent budget for a pearl necklace should be ideally going with Akoya pearls over other types of pearls.

Tahitian Black Pearls:

Tahitian black pearls are naturally forming black pearls, and they are mostly cultivated on islands of French Polynesia. Tahitian pearls appear dark but they often have overtones of many colors from pale gray to gold. These pearls are very expensive, and you should pick them only if you don’t have a problem in buying very expensive pearl jewelry.

South Sea Pearls:

South Sea pearls are rare and expensive, and they are popular for their large and perfectly round shape. These pearls are light colored and often have a whitish gold color. Like Tahitian black pearls, South Sea pearls are ideal for women who want a luxury-statement pearl ornament.

Pearl Shape:

The most common pearl shapes are round, near round, oval, drop, button, and baroque. Perfectly round pearls are expensive, especially when they are rare types like Tahitian or South Sea pearls.

Understanding Pearl Grades

Currently, two pearl grading systems called AAA, AA, and A system and Tahitian (A – D) system. In the USA, you will see mostly see pearl jewelry sellers use designations like AAA, AA, and A while referring to the quality of pearls. AAA quality is the best while the A quality pears are the lowest graded pearls. Note that there exist pearls that are inferior to A-quality pearls, which means a pearl has to have some kind of decent qualities to even get A certification. I would strongly suggest you to read this pearl grade guide to gain in-depth knowledge of pearl grading.


Do you want pure white pearls, light colored pearls, or black pearls? Pearls come in many colors such as white, silver, rose, black, gold, pink, etc. Check whether the color of a pearl is natural or treated. Pearls with distinct naturally gained colors such as black Tahitian pearls are expensive while dyed pearls are considerably cheaper.


Luster is another critical thing you need to check in pearls before buying pearl jewelry. Luster is usually classified into three types, which are high, medium, and low. Go with high luster pearls if you want them to sparkle like night stars! Note that a high luster need not necessarily be indicating the quality of a pearl as jewelry manufacturers can make even cheap pearls shimmer with some treatment methods.

Surface Quality

A good pearl is free from visible imperfection such as blemishes. The surface of a pearl shouldn’t show any strikingly noticeable imperfections or have a rough texture. Remember, most pearls on the market have some kind of imperfections. The good ones have very less imperfections that are often invisible to human eye.

Necklace Construction

A good pearl necklace’s construction ensures that two pearls don’t come in direct contact thus preventing them to rub against each other. While buying a pearl necklace, always make sure to check the type of necklace construction and the measures a manufacturer has taken to prevent pearls rubbing against each other.


The size of pearls is usually measured in millimeters (mm). The bigger a pearl is, the higher its price is. Choose a pearl size that you think looks appropriate on your body.

Type of Metal Used

Pearl necklaces don’t require a lot of metal. A clasp or a closure system takes up the bigger chunk of the total metal weight. Choose a metal based on your budget and personal preferences. Pearl necklaces made of gold are usually expensive.

Hey, are you planning to buy a pearl necklace? If so, check these six beautiful black necklaces!