There are four key factors that determine the quality of a pearl: Shape, Lustre, Size and Surface. The pearls selected to be showcased in Yoko London jewellery are always of a superior quality: pearls that we grade as AA quality or above.
There are three main shapes of pearls: round, drop and baroque.
Lustre refers to a pearl’s shine; a pearl with a good lustre looks as though it has been lit from within, whereas a pearl with a poor lustre looks chalky in texture.
Just like with diamonds, the value of the pearl is not wholly determined by the size. However, the value is determined by their rarity: larger pearls take longer to form and the longer the pearl remains in the Oyster the higher the chance of imperfections, meaning that large, gem-quality pearls are quite rare. Therefore, the larger the pearl the higher the price tends to be.
Just like other gemstones, some imperfections are to be expected. By gently rolling the pearls on a flat surface, you will be able to see any imperfections (they will show as spotting/lines or circles). These are inevitable, but the degree of imperfection or spotting will be dependent on the price. It is not unreasonable to expect medium and smaller Freshwater pearls to be very clean, but, as the size of the pearl increases you should be more tolerant of light spotting.
The colour of a pearl is dependent on the type of pearl. The important thing to remember is that, although colour can affect the value of a pearl, it is far more important to find the colour that suits your customer best.