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A Guide to Buying and Wearing Pearls

pearl necklace

Few gemstones match the understated elegance of pearls. Pearl necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are timeless accessories that complement a variety of wardrobes. You can choose from traditional, round varieties of pearls or irregularly shaped baroque pearls at fine jewelry stores in Cleveland.


Pearl is the birthstone of June and symbolizes charity, purity, faith, and innocence. Wearing pearls is thought to enhance one’s personal integrity and help focus one’s attention.


Natural Pearls vs. Cultured Pearls


Natural pearls are created by nature without any human assistance, while pearl farmers grow cultured pearls in both freshwater and saltwater. Natural pearls come in a variety of shapes and sizes because they grow in the wild.


Natural pearls are rare and thus quite expensive, so the majority of pearl jewelry is made from cultured pearls. Pearl farmers make cultured pearls by inserting a nucleus into the soft tissue of a mollusk. Eventually, the mollusk coats the bead in many layers of natural minerals and proteins, known as nacre. Pearl farmers design cultured pearls to ensure that they are luminous and have a perfect shape.


Buying Pearls


Pearl jewelry doesn’t go out of style, so it’s important to prioritize quality when you buy pearls. There is no standardized, international grading system for pearls, but you can evaluate the quality of a pearl by inspecting the following elements:


Color – Typically, pearls are white, cream, pink, silver, yellow, or black. Some pearls also have secondary colors that you see when light reflects off of their surface.


Luster – Luster is an intense, deep shine that you see when light reflects off of a pearl’s nacre, which consists of many layers of tiny calcium carbonate crystals. The more luster a pearl has, the higher its quality.


Size – The sizes of pearls vary widely depending on the type of pearl. When buying pearls, it’s ideal to have an expert examine them to determine the thickness of the nacre. If the nucleus is large and the nacre is thin, cracking and discoloration may occur.


Shape – Round pearls are the most coveted. Pearls with non-spherical, non-symmetrical shapes are considered to be of lower quality.


Surface markings – All pearls have some imperfections because they are products of nature, but high-quality pearls have few flaws and are free of large blemishes and surface markings. Pearls with smooth surfaces are the most sought after.


Style Tips for Wearing Pearl Jewelry


Whether for casual, everyday wear, work, or a party, pearl jewelry can bring elegance and beauty to any outfit. To avoid overpowering your ensemble, however, don’t wear a pearl necklace, earrings, and bracelet at the same time. Keep it simple by wearing a single strand of pearls around your neck or a pair of dangling pearl earrings with an up-do to bring attention to your neck and face.


If you’re going for a more dramatic look, consider wearing an oversized strand of baroque pearls or coin pearls to complement your outfit. In the summertime, you can wear a strand of pink pearls to accentuate your beachwear. A strand of multi-colored pearls can be the perfect, sparkly accessory for a night out on the town.


If you’re looking for retail jewelry stores in Cleveland that offer high-quality pearl jewelry, come to IMG Jewelers. Once you see our collection, you’ll understand why we’re considered one of the best Cleveland, Ohio jewelers. Visit our showroom today! 



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