Welcome to the world of pearls.
With the tremendous variety of pearls on the market today, pearls are considered the least understood of all gemstones. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the different types of pearls, pearl grading, their history and care.
One of the most important considerations in selecting a piece of pearl jewelry is determining the type of pearl that is best suited to your budget and preference. There are two basic varieties of cultured pearls; freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater pearls are grown primarily in man-made lakes and reservoirs in China. Saltwater pearls, which include Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea, are grown in bays, inlets and atolls in many places around the world. Saltwater pearls are considered more valuable than freshwater pearls, although rare and very high-quality freshwater pearls can be exceedingly valuable.
Pearl grading is one of the most difficult aspects of pearl selection to understand. There is no officially recognized, standard system for grading pearls, except in the case of Tahitian pearls, where grading and export is controlled by the French Polynesian government. A detailed explanation of luster, surface, shape and color is necessary to make an educated purchase decision.
Pearls are the world’s only organic gemstone, and therefore, tend to be quite delicate. Proper care of your pearl jewelry is essential to ensure your investment will last a lifetime. Personal care products, such as perfume or hairspray, can severely damage the luster and beauty of a pearl.
Please see Caring for your Santa Rosa Pearls.