How & Where to Buy A Pearl Set
Pearls are dazzling and elegant and every woman should have their own. Click here to learn where to buy a pearl set for your jewelry collection.
Keyword(s): pearl set
Pearls are a classic jewelry item. Everyone should own at least one pearl set.
However, not every pearl set is created equal. How can you know what to look for and where to buy high-quality pearls?
In this guide, we'll walk you through what you need to look for in a pearl retailer, so you'll only get the best. Keep reading to find out where you should look for your next pearl set.
Where to Buy a Pearl Set
When it comes to buying pearls, you have a few different options for where to shop.
eBay is a surprisingly popular place to buy pearls. The online retailer has a huge number of vendors and products. Many vendors claim to be selling high-end jewelry at a great price.
But is it the real deal? How can you tell?
The problem with eBay is that a lot of those so-called "deals" are actually fake, and there's almost no way to be certain of what you're getting until it shows up at your door.
Many pearls labeled as popular pearl types, such as "South Sea" or "Tahitian," are simply low-quality, freshwater pearls. You get what you pay for most of the time, so if a deal on eBay seems suspiciously good, it's probably because it's not real.
Even if the photos seem perfect, you can't be sure that the item you'll get is actually the one that's pictured. eBay is a popular resource for scammers and counterfeiters, and since many of them are in different countries, it's almost impossible to enforce any standards.
You also can't trust eBay reviews most of the time. Sellers may know how to trick the review system. You're best off avoiding this source altogether.
2. Retail Stores
Brick-and-mortar stores have been the traditional way to buy pearls for many years. Long before the internet, people were visiting beloved jewelry shops for their pearl sets.
The benefit of shopping in-store is you can see, touch, and try on sets before you commit to one. However, retail stores sometimes have limitations in terms of quality and selection.
In this case, it really depends on the store. Some stores mark up their jewelry by a significant amount, but not all of them do. It's a good idea to price compare unless money is no concern of yours.
However, you can find great deals in retail stores, so don't rule them out as a budget-friendly option.
3. Online Stores
A third way to buy a pearl set is through a reputable online store.
Many online stores are tied to brick-and-mortar locations, which can help vouch for their quality. Some retailers are only online, but you can still find good products from certain online retailers who have built their brand on quality.
Online stores have the benefit of having a larger selection than may be carried in some retail stores. You won't have to worry that they'll be sold out of the item you're looking for. Although you can't try things on online, many of these stores do have a generous return policy.
No matter where you choose to shop, the key is to know what to look for. Now, let's get into how you can choose the perfect pearl set for you.
How to Find the Best Pearls
What qualities will you need to consider when shopping for a pearl set? Here are the top things to look for.
When a mollusk makes a pearl, they don't always come out perfect. The layers of nacre can fail to adhere well to each other, and bubbles or spots can happen. The smoother the surface, the higher the pearl quality.
Pearls are given grades based on this quality measurement:
- A Grade - These top-quality pearls are lustrous, with imperfections on under 10% of the surface.
- B Grade - These pearls have a medium luster and have imperfections on less than 30% of the surface.
- C Grade - These medium luster pearls must have defects on less than 60% of the surface.
- D Grade - These pearls can have minor defects on more than 60% of the surface, but the imperfections cannot be deep.
Alternatively, D grade pearls can have deep defects on less than 60% of the surface. The luster doesn't matter once you reach this grade. Even if the pearl is highly lustrous, the presence of a lot of marks can render it a D grade.
Color is another consideration when you're shopping for pearls. Pearls are typically known for their white or off-white color, but pearls can also be black, silver, cream, pink, or yellow in color.
Some pearls have only a hint of another color that can be seen in a certain light.
For vibrant pearls in a range of shades, a dye can tint them any color. Brightly-colored pearls don't happen naturally, but dyed pearls are popular in certain jewelry trends.
The shine of a pearl is known as its "luster." This is considered the most important aspect of a pearl.
High-luster pearls will have a more reflective, mirror-like surface. The closer the pearl comes to reflecting images, the higher the luster. Most pearls have at least some luster, but it's more apparent on larger pearls.
Traditionally, round pearls are chosen. However, pearls can also be oval, rice-shaped, or otherwise oblong, and these are growing more popular in some jewelry styles.
The type of pearl determines its size. Freshwater pearls tend to smaller, but South Sea pearls can grow much larger.
The size of the pearl doesn't just affect the set's appearance, but also how much it costs. Large pearls are loved in necklaces and bracelets, but small pearls are often preferred for earrings and rings because they can be heavy and bulky.
Where Will You Buy Pearls?
No matter where you buy your pearl set, you need to look for quality. Keep these factors in mind while you shop, and make sure to choose a trusted retailer who knows what they're doing.