Why Pearls Are More Precious Than You Think
What to know before you purchase a pearl and why the gem is meaningful.

One of the most coveted gemstones, the pearl is a must-have in every woman’s jewelry collection. The classic gem is known for its beauty and symbolism, and it also holds valuable history and heritage, as it is passed down from one generation to another. Anne of Austria, the queen of France in the 1600s, was said to have given her daughter, Marie Mancini, a pair of pear-shaped pearl earrings that would be passed down through Marie’s descendants for over three centuries before being sold to Christie’s in 1969. This affirms the pearl’s status as a treasured heirloom.

A discriminating eye can easily tell a fine pearl from a mediocre one. Apart from the size—which is the easiest to assess—there are other characteristics that account for a pearl’s value, such as shape and luster.

Spherical pearls are rare, making them highly desirable. But these days, people have taken to other shapes. The now-valuable keshi pearls, which are formed by chance in the culturing process and are purely made of nacre, have irregular shapes that make for unique and extraordinary jewelry.

Luster might be the pearl’s most important quality, according to the Gemological Institute of America. Bright and sharp reflections give the gem its unparalleled beauty; the more lustrous, the more valuable.

The Philippine South Sea pearls meet the criteria for the finest pearls. They can be round, as well as button-shaped, oval, baroque, circled, or keshi. And produced by the largest pearl-bearing oyster Pinctada maxima, they can have a 20-millimeter diameter. Perhaps more importantly, they’re stunningly brilliant regardless of their color, a range from white to silver to gold.

While pearls are naturally precious because they’re rare and don’t need to be polished like all the other gemstones to shine, and even if we have an idea of what makes the most desirable pearl, it still takes a jeweler with a distinguished background to evaluate a pearl’s value. This, of course, includes verifying the gem’s authenticity. And a certificate confirms the jeweler’s appraisal and honesty, where his good reputation and his trusting relationship with his customers rely on.

To assure us of their high-quality pearls, some jewelers tout their international credentials, while others boast of their rich heritage. Jewelmer, for instance, prides itself on working with outstanding graders and craftsmen to uphold a tradition of excellence that’s devoted to creating fine pearl jewelry.

A pearl is a product of a thriving ecosystem, so it reflects its environment’s state. That’s why Jewelmer practices responsible farming in its pearl farms. And seeing the value of the Philippine South Sea pearl as a reflection of our land, sea, and heritage, Jewelmer has dedicated itself to preserving and sharing the pearl’s natural beauty by designing stunning jewelry pieces with it, and working with the best Filipino artisans. As long as we have pearls, we have every reason to believe that our surroundings are beautiful.

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This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with Jewelmer.