It is always useful to have some tips on buying pearls, especially when there are many different types of pearls and pearl imitations available.
Probably the first thing is to establish what you want. Cultured pearls, natural pearls and imitation pearls. Each have their price range and each have their good characteristics. Also to establish how much you want to pay for your pearl or pearls.
Some useful tips on buying pearls include the following:
1. Firstly to have some understanding of pearls and the different types available. There are plenty of articles on this site that can give you a thorough grounding in all the types of pearls and where they come from, how valuable they are and which are most suitable for various types of jewelery.
2. Check that the pearls are genuine. You can do this by quickly running a pearl from the set in question along the edge of your teeth. If it feels perfectly smooth the chances are you have got some fake pearls in your hands!
3. Place the pearls on a flat clean white surface. A new sheet of white paper is good. The area should be well lit preferably with natural light rather than fluorescent. Look at the overall tone of the pearl. If you see pinkish tones that is usually good. Greenish or bluish tones will indicate a cheaper pearl. Check the luster of the pearls and look for any high contrast between the light and dark areas of the pearl. Also check for sharp reflections and a surface that is shiny and smooth. If you have a strand of pearls, check every pearl on the strand, not just a few.
4. If you are looking at a necklace, check the length of the necklace. Shorter necklaces are good for longer neck while the longer necklaces seem to be more suitable for shorter necks. Here are the standard necklace lengths so taking a tape measure is probably a good idea also.
Collar - 12-13″
Choker - 14-16″
Princess - 17-19″
Matinee - 20-25″
Opera - 26-36″
Rope - 37″ or longer
The princess length tends to be the most popular as it is suitable for both long and short necks.
The above are just a few of the tips you can find on buying pearls and they can give you a helping hand when it comes to buying pearl jewelery.