Friday, 2 June 2017

How To Buy Good Quality Pearls

With pearl's popularity growing back dramatically, a traditional white pearl strand becomes a kind of must-have jewellery in each woman's wardrobe.

And, with them being the official birthstone for the month of June, we thought we'd put together a little piece about the beautiful pearl.

As always, you can visit our main website to check out some of the different styles and designs of unique jewellery we have in with new pieces coming in constantly... or call us on: 01592 264305 and ask for Richard or Jackie and we'll hopefully see you in store soon :)

Anyway, on with the article...


5 Reasons why you should buy fine pearl jewellery

beautiful pearl jewellery you can get at A K Campbell & Son Kirkcaldy

image credit


"1. High purity gold and silver jewellery is a great investment

When you buy jewellery made with gold, silver, and other precious metals, it is not only pretty to look at, but also it serves as a great investment for you in the long term.

2. Fine pearl jewellery can last a lifetime and through generations

Pearls are the only precious gems that fall into the fine jewellery category that also includes diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire. Gemstones such as amethyst, opal and topaz are semi-precious and do not have high intrinsic value.

Elegant, luminous and magical, pearls are the epitome of femininity and timelessness. From the romantic legends to the world’s famous La Peregrina pearl, they have been the ultimate symbol of power, strength, and wealth.

High quality pearls are very durable because of their thick nacre and excellent surface quality.

3. Pearls are always appropriate, and never go out of fashion

There’re so many different ways of wearing pearl jewellery. For example, a strand of lustrous freshwater pearls can instantly add a touch of elegance to your outfit. Layering and building up depth and shine can be fun and impactful. As considered the most wearable piece, a pair of pearl stud earrings are just perfect for any occasion.

4. Each piece tells a story

Your jewellery box represents the journey of your life. Each piece tells a story. Gradually adding fine pieces to your collection over time is a wonderful thing to help create beautiful memories.

5. Every gift of fine jewellery holds great sentimental value

There are very few things that have the same sentimental value as jewellery. Thoughtful gifts have the power of bringing families and friends closer. A piece of fine jewellery shows love and appreciation like no other. It is often a great way of starting a conversation.

Pearls are the traditional symbol of a 30th pearl wedding anniversary. They’re also the birthstone for June. But you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to wear these gorgeous gems. Pearl jewellery can be ultra-contemporary as well as classic."

Read more from the original source here...

But, when faced with thousands of styles, where to start?

As a fan of pearls and working in the jewellery industry, here's some tips for buying pearls...

How to buy pearls


"There're seven value factors when judging a pearl's quality: lustre, size, shape, colour, surface, nacre quality, and matching.


Lustre is essentially the intensity and sharpness of the light reflected from a pearl’s surface. The more lustrous the pearl is, the brighter and shaper its reflection. Lustre is probably the most important value factor when judging a pearl’s quality. Pearls with high lustre are regarded as more valuable than those with poor lustre.

A pearl with excellent lustre displays bright and sharp reflections. An extremely lustrous pearl can show an almost metallic or mirror-like appearance.

Factors such as nacre quality, the speed of nacre deposition, the type of the mollusc and its health can all contribute to the lustre of a pearl.


Pearls are normally measured in millimetres. The size of a pearl varies depending on its type, rarity, and growth period. When other value factors are equal, the larger the pearl is, the greater the value it has. The following shows a quick guide to the common sizes for different pearl types.

  • Freshwater – 4 to 14mm
  • Akoya – 2 to 10mm
  • Tahitian – 9 to 14mm
  • South Sea – 8 to 20mm



A perfectly round pearl is truly magnificent. But it is very rare. Most pearls come in a variety of shapes and are exciting, fashionable and fun to wear.


Pearls come in an array of stunning colours. From white, cream, pink, yellow, green, blue to black, there are so many shades in between. In addition, pearls often display delicate overtones, such as green, blue and pink. Many trade terms, such as apricot, aubergine, golden, lavender, peacock and pistachio, are also used to vividly describe pearl colours.

The high-value colours for Akoyas are silver and white. For freshwater pearls, they are white and lavender. Peacock and aubergine are the treasured colours for Tahitian pearls. For South Sea pearls, the most prized colour is deep golden.

Colours are usually a personal preference and they do not affect the quality of a pearl. However, pearls with natural colours are generally more valuable than those that are dyed.


The surface condition of a pearl affects its value. When other value factors are equal, the fewer and smaller the blemishes are, the more valuable the pearl is. Most pearls have some degree of imperfections such as bumps, pits, spots and wrinkles. Tiny irregularities are acceptable.


Nacre is the natural substance produced by a mollusc to form a pearl. The quality of nacre directly impacts the value of a pearl, especially in the case of saltwater cultured pearls where shell bead nuclei are present. The thicker the nacre is, the more lustrous and durable the pearl is.


Matching is an important value factor when assessing more than two pearls. It needs to take all the other value factors into account and achieve harmony in terms of size, shape, colour, lustre, surface, and nacre quality.

It is important to note that sometimes pearls are deliberately mismatched to create a casual and fun look. As long as the design achieves a balanced and harmonious look, the jewellery piece can still be very desirable."

Read more from the original source here...

A good quality pearl is always thick in nacre (nacre thickness higher than 0.4mm is highly recommended), smooth in surface, high in lustre (mirror like lustre is best),
round in shape and big in size.

However, shape, size and colour are more for personal preference.

If you are looking for a strand, you also need to pay attention to its matching.

Lay the strand into a straight line. Compare the size, colour, surface, shape and lustre (of each pearl.)

A good match in these aspects results in a good strand.

Also, you can compare a few strands with each other, to find out the best one.

When you are deciding the style, there are so many aspects to consider, such as colour, pearl size and shape, pearl strand or designed pearl necklace, etc, here's a few insights to help out....

10 Pearl Fashion Trends for the Modern Woman

image credit


"1. More is Better

Wearing multiple strands of pearl necklaces at one time is a hot pearl fashion trend. Your look can go from modest and shy, to dramatic and dangerous just by layering on the pearls.

2. Go Colour Crazy

Traditionally, when consumers think of pearls, the white ones come to mind. But, freshwater pearls come in some amazing, natural pastel colours, ranging from lavender to peach to pink. Wear them in multi-strands with a large, shiny clasp to clamp them together in style.

3. Let Them Dangle

No longer are pearl earrings a representation of the shy and innocent. Swinging pearl earrings and chandelier styles can be both sexy and hot.

4. Black Pearls Rock

Tahitian pearls have amazing beauty and lustre. They are also the only natural black pearls in the world. These pearls give you a feeling of richness.

5. Shake Those Bangles

Pearl bracelets and bangles are quickly becoming one of the popular pearl fashion trends of the year.

6. Lariat Pearl Necklaces

What is a pearl lariat? It’s a pearl necklace that’s “open” so it can be worn just like a scarf. These chic pearl necklaces add a touch of sophistication to just about any look.

7. Pearls on Shoes

A pearl of leather boots or satin heels with pearls attached can transform your simple little black dress look into night out on the town attire.

8. Pearls on Dresses & Skirts

Pearls have a way of making your outfit look dazzling. Skirts and dresses embellished with pearls make you feel self-pampered. Try to wear shirts and tops that actually contrast with the pearls, so they stand out more.

9. Pearls on Jackets, Blouses and Shirts

Pearls make certain material and clothing look elegant and chic. Leather, chiffon and silk are easily transformed into inspiring garments for the glamorous.

10. Pearls on Denim

Jeans and pearls? Odd as it may sound, the two work together to create a cool ensemble. Attach pearls to your denim jeans, jacket, purse, etc."

Read more from the original source here...

"Caring for your Pearls

Pearls need gentle care and should be stored away from other jewellery items to avoid scratching. They should be gently wiped with a clean soft cloth after wearing and should not come into contact with lotions, perfume and most of all hair spray, as these will destroy their natural lustre over time. Regular restringing onto silk with a knot in between each pearl will not only prevent the pearls rubbing together but will stop them from scattering if the silk should break at any time. As with most jewellery a few moments care will be rewarded with a lifetime of pleasure.

Read more from the original source here...

It wouldn't be a full and complete guide without having some care tips to follow in order to keep the lustre and your jewels looking great for years to come...

The golden rules are;

    1. Wash jewels in warm water with a pure soap, no detergents.


    1. Always use a bowl so that any loose stones or even the item itself cannot be lost down the sink.


    1. Dry the articles with a soft clean cloth and in the case of a pearl necklace allow the silk to dry completely before wearing so that it does not stretch or attract dirt. Pearls that are worn often should be restrung every twelve to eighteen months.

Commercial jewellery cleaners should be used with caution. Do not leave any items of jewellery immersed in cleaning fluids longer than five to ten minutes and be sure to rinse really well in cool running water to remove all traces of the cleaner. It is advisable not to use a cleaner for porous gems such as pearls, turquoise and opal, and if in doubt ask your jeweller.

"If jewellery is stored or kept in a safe for long periods of time place a small dish of water inside to maintain humidity especially where pearls are concerned. Pearls retain their lustre far better if they are worn regularly, do not lock away for too long as they can become dull and lack lustre."

Read some more tips for caring for your jewellery from the original source here...

There you go, hope you found that useful for buying your own pearl jewellery or for buying a June birthday person a present.  You really can't go wrong with pearls!





The post How To Buy Good Quality Pearls is courtesy of A.K. Campbell and Sons

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