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How Much are Pearls Worth? An Ultimate Guide to Value-Based Pricing

How Much are Pearls Worth

Do you want to buy pearl jewelry? Then, you must know how much are pearls worth? Before making a purchase, it’s vital to know what these gems are. Pearls are the only gemstones in the world that come from living beings. Oysters and mussels are examples of mollusks that produce these magnificent gems that have been cherished since antiquity. White and nearly perfectly round gems remain the most popular, despite being available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Pearls are prized for their incredible beauty, which originates from their distinctive gleam, which is frequently referred to as a jewel’s luster. While there is a lot to learn, we’ll go over everything you need to know in order to answer the question “what is a pearl and how much are pearls worth?”

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How Does a Pearl Form?

As previously indicated, these gems grow inside mollusks. Pearls are made by oysters in seawater and mussels in freshwater. When a foreign substance enters the mollusk, such as a food particle, it protects itself by covering nacre over the irritant. Nacre is another substance that gives diamonds their radiance. This food particle effectively works as the nucleus of a gem, expanding in size as layers of nacre are added.

The Most Important Thing to Remember When Purchasing Pearls

Before we get started, let’s take a quick look at the basic pearl-buying rule. Also, you need to know how much are pearls worth. Fake pearls are useless, whether they are made of glass or plastic. Imitation technology has progressed to the point where certain man-made beads may fool you. So make sure you take these basic precautions to ensure you’re getting the real deal.

What’s the Difference Between Natural and Cultured Pearls?

If you’re a fan of high-end fashion and jewelry, you’ve probably heard about some of the recent auctions that saw record-breaking prices paid for natural pearls.

In 2014, a strand of 53 genuine saltwater pearls fetched $2.9 million. In 2018, Sotheby’s auctioned a massive drop natural pearl pendant that belonged to French Queen Marie Antoinette for a world-record-breaking US$32 million, more than doubling the previous global auction record established in 2011 for La Peregrina, a pearl previously owned by Elizabeth Taylor.

Natural vs. Cultured Pearls: What’s the Difference?

Cultured pearls, on the other hand, are far less expensive, with single pearls costing anything from $50 to over $165,000 on average.

Despite their significant price disparities, both cultivated and natural pearls are real pearls. Pearl-bearing oysters are produced in either saltwater or freshwater. Both natural and cultivated pearls go through the same manufacturing procedure.

Before knowing the difference, you have to learn about how much are pearls worth. The only difference between the two is the external irritation that causes a pearl to form inside the oyster shell. In the case of natural pearls, this external intruder can be a sand particle or a parasite, and the pearl forms fully without human interference. In cultured pearls, the irritant is either a piece of tissue from another oyster or a bead implanted by pearl farmers to stimulate pearl development.

Natural pearls have a larger potential value than produced pearls, which is understandable. Natural pearls are substantially more rare than cultured pearls, therefore this is the case. Almost all genuine pearls are now farmed.

But wait a minute – notice how we utilized the word “possible” in our sentence. Yes, it is right! Natural pearls do not always have a higher value than cultivated pearls. Why? Because a pearl’s beauty and value are influenced by a variety of factors such as size, shape, color, luster, and nacre quality. That’s why you should know how much are pearls worth.

Regardless of how they are created, whether natural or cultured, the majority of pearls obtained are of average to low quality. Excellent-quality pearls are extremely rare. This is mostly related to the way pearls develop within the oyster. Layer by layer, the oyster secretes nacre to coat the intruder. The substance that gives mother-of-pearl its beautiful sheen on the inside of the shell is the same. These nacre layers are not always evenly distributed, resulting in a tight structure similar to that of an organic gem. As a result, there is a wide range of quality. To put it another way, most natural pearls, if discovered, rarely have highly valuable characteristics.

Aside from their historical significance, the most valuable natural pearls that have commanded exorbitant prices all have unique characteristics that make them stunning. They’re normally only found in museums or high-end auction houses.

How can you tell whether your pearls are natural or cultured? Also, how will you come to know how much are pearls worth? Unfortunately, you won’t be able to detect the difference without a thorough geological and laboratory analysis. X-rays, energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence, laser light, and Raman spectroscopy can be used to distinguish between natural and cultured pearls.

Pearls Worth
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How Does the Size of a Pearl Affect Its Worth?

Is it true that larger pearls always have a higher value? Not all of the time, to be sure. The size of a pearl cannot be judged in isolation; it must be considered alongside the type of pearl. Let’s take a look at the regular range of sizes that each pearl type can reach in order to gain a better understanding of how this affects a pearl’s worth.

  • 2.0 mm to 10 mm – Akoya
  • 4.0mm to 14mm in – freshwater
  • Range in size from 9.0mm to 14mm- Tahitian pearls
  • 8.0mm to 20mm – South Sea

Assuming comparing sizes within the same pearl type, the larger the pearl, when all other value parameters are identical, the more valuable it is. Thus, you will come to know how much are pearls worth.

This is not the case, however, when appraising distinct sorts of pearls. When comparing the size of the Tahitian oyster shell to that of the Akoya pearl-bearing oyster, the disparity in pearl sizes is instantly apparent, as shown in the diagram below.

Pearls Worth depending on their type

Pearls from the South Seas

South Sea Pearls are a type of pearl that is found throughout the oceans of the world.

These are the most expensive pearls on the market, as well as the ones with the greatest variety of pearls. A single strand of South Sea pearls can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $100,000. Cultured golden and white pearls are the largest, rarest, and most expensive South Sea pearls. So, how much are pearls worth? You must get the answer here.

Pearl from Tahiti

The dark tones of the pearls distinguish them. The quality and size of a pearl strand determine its price. On the open market, it’s valued anywhere from $500 to $25,000 dollars. They have a lovely aesthetic and come in a range of colors, sizes, and materials.

Pearl of Akoya

The majority of them have a spherical shape and are white in color. This pearl is smaller, and a strand of them can cost anywhere from $300 and $10,000. They are the tiniest cultured pearls ever created, as well as one of the first.

Pearls from the sea

It comes in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. They resemble Akoya pearls in appearance. However, they are less expensive. A single strand could cost anywhere from $50 to $2,000. These pearls are grown in freshwater, unlike other pearls that are created in saltwater or in the sea.

While some pearl varieties are more valuable than others, pearl jewelry loses value over time and when resold. Because there are only two pearls in a pair of pearl earrings, they are less expensive. The use of more pearls in pearl necklaces results in a greater price. However, because the number of pearls in your necklace changes depending on its length, the market value varies as well.

At the auction, how do you know that how much are pearls worth? The answer is here. Some pearls have a high resale value. Because of their historical significance, pearls belonged to notable people. As a result, unique and natural pearls, as well as pearls from exotic locales, attract extravagant resale prices. Taste a range of exquisite and refined gems at Pearls of Joy.

How can you know how much are pearls worth?

There are a few crucial factors to examine when establishing value: luster, surface quality, shape, and size. Pearls can have a wide range of characteristics depending on where they came from, how old they are, and what kind of water they were drawn from, and above all how much are pearls worth.

white pearls necklace
Image by RitaE from Pixabay


A pearl’s luster refers to its sparkling, shining appearance as it reflects light. The pearl’s brightness will be more enticing if each layer of nacre is scattered uniformly.

Surface Condition

A pearl’s surface is more perfect the higher its value. While manufactured pearls are less likely than wild pearls to have faults, the quality can still vary, making immaculate pearls significantly more valuable.

Even though cultivated pearls are often generated using a sphere-shaped irritant, creating a completely symmetrical, spherical pearl is incredibly difficult. The rarity of perfectly spherical pearls raises their value because only around 10 percent of all pearls obtained are perfectly spherical. Unevenly shaped Baroque pearls are very fashionable today.


A pearl’s size, like the size of a stone, can have a significant impact on its value. The majority of farmed pearls have a length of 6 to 7.5 cm. The value of larger pearls has the potential to increase.

The most beautiful and expensive pearls nowadays are those from the South Sea, which come in a variety of colors including gold and white.


Freshwater pearls can now be created with white color and a round form similar to saltwater pearls from the Akoya oyster. Because of their higher reflecting brilliance, Akoya pearls are more valuable. Larger South Sea pearls, such as golden, white, and multicolor Tahitian pearls, as well as the most valuable pearls of all, are available.

Pearls have a high resale value

Quality pearls last a long time, which is why antique pearls are now so precious. If you have a collection of pearl jewelry, you may easily pass down a treasured inheritance to future generations. Shorter pearl strands retail for less than longer strand counterparts, even if the quality is the same. If properly cared for, pearls can last a lifetime.

white pearls
Photo by Anna Stampfli on Unsplash

The better the pearl’s quality, the more durable and costly your jewel will be. Pearl jewelry is a family heirloom that can be passed down through the generations. Having a vast range of stunning pearl necklaces, according to the experts at Pearls of Joy, might be a blessing. The quality, size, shape, luster, color, and sort of pearls in your collection will affect their market value. Consult a jewelry specialist to determine the value of your pearl necklace collection. So, can we ask you what will your answer is about how much are pearls worth? Definitely, you’ll say you get the answer.

The same variables apply to both produced and natural pearls. The most beautiful and expensive pearls nowadays are those from the South Sea, which come in a variety of colors including gold and white.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on How Much Are Pearls Worth

1. How do you figure out how much are pearls worth?

The entire value of a natural or cultured pearl is determined by six important factors: shape, size, color, surface, nacre quality, and luster.

2. What color pearl is the most valuable?

The most valuable and expensive pearls on the market today are South Sea pearls, which naturally occur in white and gold colors.

3. How much does a pearl necklace cost?

A conventional strand of white pearls can cost anywhere between $100 to $10,000 (for Freshwater pearls) (Akoya and South Sea pearls). The shape and size of the pearls play a big role in the price of a necklace, which is why a truly big South Sea pearl necklace can cost over $100,000.

4. Is Buying Pearls a Good Investment?

If properly cared for, pearls can retain their worth for a lifetime. The higher the gemstone’s quality, the longer it will last. That means that when you buy pearls, you’re buying jewelry that will be passed down down the centuries.

Start with less expensive pearl jewelry and work your way up to statement pieces, cocktail rings, and eye-catching pearl necklaces. It’s a long-term investment that will pay off handsomely.

5. How Does Pearl’s Surface Affect Its Value?

Because pearls are organic gems, nearly all cultivated and natural pearls include surface flaws such as lumps, pits, scratches, stains, and wrinkles. Pearls with no imperfections are incredibly difficult to come by. When all other factors remain the same, a pearl with fewer and less obvious flaws has a higher value.

Pearls with a clean surface contain no faults or very minor surface imperfections that are not apparent without specialized equipment. Depending on the severity of their flaws, pearls are categorized as Lightly Spotted, Moderately Spotted, or Heavily Spotted.

6. How come Mikimoto pearls are so pricey?

They are substantially more expensive than manufactured pearls due to their rarity. Cultured pearls were gorgeous pearls that were significantly less expensive and often rounder than natural pearls when they first arrived on the scene.

7. What is the most beautiful pearl on the planet and how much are pearls worth?

The Most Expensive Pearls in the World are lustrous and sumptuous. These are:

  1. Marie Antoinette’s and Barbara Hutton’s Pearl Stand Necklace
  2. A five-strand natural pearl necklace.
  3. A Cowdray pearl is a form of pearl produced by a Cowdray.
  4. Dual-Strand Pearl Necklace, Limited Edition
  5. The Duchess of Windsor’s single-strand necklace
  6. A Baroda pearl necklace.
  7. La Peregrina Pearl

8. What causes some pearls to be so cheap?

What was the difference in price between these pearls and the others? Because they were smaller, they were smaller. They were not only small, but they were also pearls from the early harvest. This means they didn’t spend as much time in the ocean as South Sea Pearls and didn’t have the same depth of nacre quality.

What is the best way to sell pearls?

Follow the steps below to ensure that you obtain the best price for your pearl jewelry.

1. Recognize that how much are pearls worth?

The value of pearls is determined by a variety of factors, including whether they are natural or produced, how lustrous they are, their size, shape, color, and provenance. Natural pearls that are larger, rounder, and glossy will normally be worth more than cultured pearls that are smaller, misshapen, and duller. The rarer a pearl color is, the more expensive it is.

As a result, you should have a rough sense of how much are pearls worth before selling them. If you purchased the pearl yourself or have a certificate of authenticity, you may already be aware of this information. If not, you should think about getting an appraisal. An assessment will answer queries like, “What kind of pearl do you have?” and “What kind of pearl do you have?” What’s the backstory to your pearl? What is the size of your pearl? What color is the pearl, and so on?

A jewelry appraisal can cost anywhere from $50 to $150, so avoiding the appraisal may be preferable if you have reason to believe your pearl or pearl jewelry isn’t worth that much. If, on the other hand, you have reason to believe that your pearl is extremely valuable, an appraisal will assist you in determining its value.

2. Understand what your setting is made out of.

If you’re selling loose pearls, you can ignore this. You should consider the setting when selling a pearl ring, necklace, bracelet, brooch, earrings, or other pieces of pearl jewelry. What kind of metal do you use in your jewelry? Is there anything else valuable in it, like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, and so on? Additionally, you must have knowledge about how much are pearls worth?

If your jewelry is made up of lower-quality pearls, the setting may be worth more than the pearl itself. In some cases, selling your pearl jewelry to an online gold, silver, or platinum buyer may be a better option.

3. Find a reliable buyer

Once you have a rough sense of the value of your pearls, you can begin looking for a reputable buyer. Don’t be afraid to get different opinions, especially if you think the offer you’ve received is too low.

Where can I sell my pearls?

Pearls can be sold in many of the same places as gold, silver, diamonds, and other types of jewelry can be sold. The following are the most common people who buy pearl jewelry:

Consignment or pawn shops: Selling your pearl to a pawn shop will get you the most money in the shortest amount of time, but it will also bring you the least amount of money. A thriving local consignment store is possible, but it will take a lot of work and time.

Jewelry stores

A jewelry store near you might sell you loose pearls or pearl jewelry. They’ll evaluate jewelry depending on how much they think they can resell it for or the separate components’ value, including the pearl, metal, any other stones, etc.


If you have a piece of pearl jewelry that you know how much are pearls worth. An auction is a great way to sell it. Auctions might be an excellent alternative if you’re selling an antique or heirloom jewelry, liquidating an estate, or having multiple pieces that you’d like to sell all at once.

Online marketplaces

If you’re selling pearl jewelry (not loose pearls) and don’t need the money right away, Etsy, Mercari, Poshmark, and other comparable sites are good places to start.

Why Don’t You Sell Your Pearls?

Before selling your pearls, you should get an idea about how much are pearls worth. And You Shouldn’t Sell Your Pearls For These 5 Reasons.

1. You Might Not Get Your Expected Amount

Gold and silver are not traded in the same manner that pearl jewelry and pearls are. For the time being, they are considered uncommon jewels with a low selling value.

Used pearl jewelry is typically something that has been worn by celebrities, monarchs, or ancient pieces and is sold at a higher price.

The good news is that Pure Pearls offers a lifetime guarantee, allowing you to enjoy your jewelry for decades. As a result, the investment will pay off handsomely if times change and the selling value of pearls grows.

2. Redesign or customize your jewelry

Do you ever get tired of wearing the same pearl necklace? Do you adore your pearls but crave something new without having to give up your old ones? You’ll appreciate this if you responded yes to any of the questions!

Simple additions, such as a pendant or a new pearl thread, can instantly transform your existing pearl jewelry into something new. Add one or two more lines to a single line basic pearl necklace set, for example, to make it look bolder and grander!

3. Pearls are timeless and fashionable

Pearls have been around for centuries and will continue to be for many more. It are regarded as high-end jewelry and are never out of style. The value of pearls will only increase in the eyes of the public as time passes.

Pearls can also be worn with any outfit and for any occasion. As a result, you won’t have to second-guess your pearl buying selection. It’s always a good idea.

4. Restring all of your old pearl necklaces and bracelets

The strings of your vintage pearl jewelry pieces may become weaker over time. If this is the case, instead of selling your pearls, consider restringing them.

Restringing your pearls is straightforward and inexpensive. If you want to learn more about how much are pearls worth and the specialty, you can do it yourself, or you can engage pros to do it for you.

5. Keep it as a family heirloom

If properly cared for, pearls can last for years, even decades, and you can pass them down to your children or grandchildren because they never go out of style.

Because of its timeless beauty, pearl jewelry is ideal for handing along with family heirlooms.

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