Tahitian Pearls Part II

While there is so much that we could write and teach you about Tahitian Pearls – if you read our last blog you probably have a decent basic knowledge of what they are, and what makes them so unique. In this second part, we are going to elaborate a bit more on what types of shapes they come in – as well as what to look for when making a purchase.

Many people assume that all saltwater pearls are round. A common thought is that if it has an unusual shape – then it is most likely a freshwater or natural pearl. This misconception could not be further from the truth. Freshwater pearls can also have a round like appearance, but typically are irregular in shape but also can look more oval. We have mentioned this before, but some jewelry stores will try to highlight how a pearl is “natural” – therefore more desirable and deserving of a higher price tag. Tuck this in the back of your mind, but if anyone ever tried to sell you a natural pearl – run. The harvesting of wild oysters is illegal and as a result 99.999% of all pearls on the market have been harvested in pearl farms. – So chances are if someone ever tries to sell you a “natural pearl” at best they are misleading you.

Because saltwater pearls are not cultivated in a lab and are a naturally evolving process, they can have gorgeous unique and beautiful shapes. Obviously, many people are familiar with round pearls. Since Tahitian Pearls are a larger pearl variety, they come in incredible shapes such as teardrop, oval, drop, baroque, semi round, and button. You can imagine with the incredible colors and overtones that Tahitians are famous for how these unique shapes would only accentuate their beauty.

unnamed (1)One of the things to keep in mind when selecting a pearl shape is that it is important to select the shape that appeals most to you. Generally speaking, true round pearls that are larger in size tend to be slightly more expensive, but many people find themselves preferring the unique more irregular shapes. The choice is solely yours – and you can’t make a wrong decision.

It can be very exciting to purchase your first real piece of Tahitian Pearl jewelry – but it can also be a bit overwhelming once you start to look at how pearls are graded. The good thing is that you don’t need to have full knowledge of how pearls are graded – just a basic one so that you can make an educated decision of what you are looking at. Pearls today are graded in a very similar fashion to diamonds – if you have ever heard of the 4 C’s of diamond grading then you know what we are talking about. Pearls have two types of grading systems. The most common is the AAA-A grading system – since that is the system we use, that is the one we will discuss here.

The main takeaway points for what to look for when purchasing a piece of pearl jewelry is to 1.) know that pearls all have different levels of quality and 2.) it is important to balance out each category of grading so that the piece as a whole is beautiful. You might be asking what we are referring to in our second point – well, we will tell you!

When it comes to pearls, there are three main aspects that need to be taken into account: The surface clarity, the luster and the nacre. Typically jewelers will categorize a pearl as whole, which can make it challenging to determine just what type of quality you are receiving. At Seven Seas Pearls, we grade each pearl on each individual characteristic. When you view pearls on our website you will see that each are graded individually on their clarity, luster and nacre. At Seven Seas Pearls, we have an additional rating category that describes the very few pearls that exceed the standard AAA-A grading system. You will see that these pearls are described as AAA Flawless for their clarity and AAA Gem for their luster.

Below is a detailed chart that will give a very simple and straightforward illustration as to what the main difference is between each of the gradings. As always, if you ever have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to let us know.

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Tahitian Pearls Part I

Pearls are all the same – right? Actually it surprises many people to discover that of the saltwater pearl variety, that there are three different types of pearls. If you have been staying up on our blog, then you are probably familiar with these three kinds of pearls. For those of you who are newer to the world of pearls – we will give you a crash course!

Pearls can mainly be broken into two very distinct and different categories. The first is fresh water pearls. These are pearls that are farmed in – yes, fresh water and include lakes, streams, rivers, ponds etc. The second category is saltwater pearls – these are pearls that are formed in – you guessed it; oceans. Of these two categories, saltwater pearls are considered to be more desirable, valuable and of higher quality.

At Seven Seas Pearls, we only work with saltwater pearls. Of the saltwater pearl variety, there are three types: South Sea Pearls, Akoya Pearls and Tahitian Pearls. In this blog we are going to discuss more in depth just what Tahitian Pearls are, where they are from, what makes them unique, why women love them and what to look for when making a Tahitian Pearl purchase.

As could be implied, Tahitian Pearls are called such because they are farmed in the gorgeous aqua and nutrient rich waters around the islands of Tahiti (or the French Polynesia). These stunning pearls are often referred to as “Black Pearls” and are a much sought after commodity for those who have traveled to Tahiti or have seen their incredible beauty.

Of the three types of pearls, the Tahitian Pearls are the second largest in average range of size. Typically they range from 9mm to 18mm in size. South Sea Pearls do tend to be consistently larger, and Akoya’s consistently smaller. What sets Tahitian Pearls apart from either Akoya’s or South Sea Pearls is the gorgeous metallic overtones they come in. As a general rule, Tahitian Pearls tend to have a gray or black base color. Even these tones by themselves are truly stunning. But what makes them magnificent is the overtone. For example, a Tahitian Pearl can have a gray base color – but a beautiful eggplant overtone. The combination of these two colors along with the metallic shimmer is simply stunning.

Here is a gorgeous example of some of the rich metallic colors that Tahitian Pearls are famous for:

unnamedEven though Tahitian Pearls are referred to as “Black Pearls” very few Tahitian Pearls are truly black. At Seven Seas Pearls, we are proud to showcase some of the blackest black pearls on the market today. When people come into our showroom looking for “black pearls” we enjoy showing them our black Tahitian Pearl strands – they are always amazed at how every time we pull out another strand that they become blacker – and blacker. To the point where even the original strand that our customer thought was black suddenly take on a more gray appearance.

Here is a great example of the variations of “black” Tahitian Pearls. It’s easy to see how even in a photograph that they have distinct differences in the depth and “blackness” of their color.

unnamed (2)We hope that you will join us for our next blog that will discuss the shapes of Tahitian Pearls as well as what to look for when making a purchase. If you are near the Los Angeles area, we would love for you to stop by our showroom where we can show you in person some of the amazing colors and shapes Tahitian Pearls come in. No matter how amazing the photography, it simply cannot do justice to these amazing gems of the sea.

What to Look for When Buying a Strand of Pearls

Most women dream of owning a pearl strand. If you are starting the process of trying to determine what type of pearl, what type of strand is a good fit for you – then you have come to the right place. In this blog, we are going to explore a few of the things that you should consider when making your first pearl strand purchase!

What type of pearl is right for you?

There are three types of saltwater pearls: Tahitian, Akoya, and South Sea. Each of these pearls are unique and have vastly different features. If you are looking for the “classic pearl strand” then Akoya Pearls would most likely be the best fit for you. If something a bit more bold and dramatic is what you have in mind, then Tahitian Pearls would be perfect. If you love larger pieces of pearl jewelry then we would recommend beautiful South Sea Pearls.

Here is a beautiful visual illustration of the differences upon first glance for these different types of pearl strands.

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Choosing the shape of your pearl

After selecting the type of pearl you like most, the next step is to identify the type of shape you want. Many people think that all pearls are round. While pearls are round, they also come in gorgeous drop shapes, near round, button, oval and baroque. When selecting the type of pearl shape, it’s important to simply pick the shape that you enjoy most.

Here are just a few of the beautiful types of pearl shapes you will come across in your search for a pearl strand:

unnamedSelecting the quality of your pearl strand

Now that you have selected the type of pearl you want as well as the shape – most of the choices should be done – right? The last aspect to consider when making your first pearl strand purchase is evaluating the type of quality that is important to you. As can be expected, the higher the quality, the more valuable and therefore the price of the piece is higher. Depending on your budget, we recommend selecting a higher quality pearl over a larger pearl or a specific shape. For example, perfectly round highly rated Akoya’s will fetch a higher price than near round highly rated Akoya’s. In that particular scenario, we would recommend selecting the near round pearls so the quality could be higher for a similar price.

Here is an illustration that will highlight how we at Seven Seas Pearls grade and rate pearls.

ScreenHunter_1923 Sep. 18 22.36Buying your first pearl strand is very exciting! We would love to help you find the perfect piece that suits your needs, style and budget. We invite you to explore our selection of hundreds of strands on our website and welcome any questions. If you don’t see exactly what you are looking for, please let us know. Our website holds only a small percentage of the literally thousands of pearl pieces that we have. If you are near the Los Angeles area, we would love to welcome you to our showroom. No appointment is ever needed. We look forward to meeting you soon!