“Whatever pearl you seek, look for the pearl within the pearl!” – Rumi
Giving the gift of pearls is more than giving a random piece of jewelry. It’s a gift that requires a deeper consideration for selecting the right pearl that captures the essence of what you admire in someone, or a quality you want to give them.
Along with choosing the appropriate size and color, which you can learn about in ‘Tips for Choosing the Right Holiday Pearl Gift’ the following considerations will also give you more insight into which holiday pearl would make the perfect gift.
Which is Better: Freshwater or Saltwater Pearls?
Where a pearl grows, has an impact on its quality and value, and there are pros and cons to each. The main difference between them is their structure, which differs depending on how they are cultivated.
Grown in mussels in lakes and rivers, most freshwater pearls are nuclear-free and made totally of nacre, so if you cut them, they look like an onion with many layers of nacre.
Freshwater pearls are the more affordable option because mussels produce a high number of pearls at a time, and require less time to grow. Previously considered inferior in quality to saltwater, advancements in modern cultivation techniques have changed this. So if you want to get the highest possible quality pearls on a limited budget, you should choose freshwater pearls, such as the high-end hybrid freshwater Edison Pearls you can explore in our collection.
Grown in saltwater oysters, these pearls are nucleated with a bead inside, made of mother-of-pearl. This produces perfectly round pearls of desirable sizes and colors. Unlike freshwater mussels, saltwater oysters only produce 1 to 3 pearls at a time, and take longer to grow, which results in a higher quality nacre and luster. For example, the Tahitian Beauty Pearl Earrings grown in saltwater for more than 4 years are stunning with a high, reflective luster – perfect for a memorable holiday gift.
Quality and Your Budget
It's more expensive to cultivate saltwater pearls in the ocean, so you are paying for the rareness and cultivation cost.
But for the same price, you can buy much higher quality freshwater pearls than saltwater pearls. So if you have a limited budget and want to get the highest possible quality pearls, you should choose freshwater pearls. There are so many to choose from in our Freshwater pearls collection!
However, if money is no object and you want to create a treasured family heirloom, explore our saltwater pearl collection of South Sea pearls.
With pearls coming in all shapes, sizes, and color, what do the professionals look for to determine their value? Luster. A pearl’s reflecting qualities and glow are prized as the most important and valuable asset of a pearl, and make the difference between ordinary and extraordinary gems.
Reflecting light is one of the most special features of pearls, and a high-quality pearl will seem to be illuminated from within. The thickness of the nacre is what determines its luster, with thin nacre resulting in poor luster and the thicker the nacre, the more lustrous the pearl.
So it’s an important aspect when choosing one, because luster can range from low, mid-range to high. Low luster will appear as having a chalky or dusty surface, and a brighter but hazy reflection for medium, and vividly bright and luminous for high luster so you can see your reflection.
Get your shopping done early this year, to ensure you get the perfect holiday pearl!