Pearl necklaces are stylish, elegant, and ever-trendy, especially today. Which means that if you are interested in buying the finest jewelry varieties, a pearl necklace would be the perfect piece for you.
The catch, however, is that pearl necklaces made of real pearls tend to be very pricey and beyond the reach of most individuals interested in these kinds of jewelry.
What this means is that most of the pearl necklaces on the market today are made of artificial or simulated pearl necklaces, which explains their affordability.
So, how much do the real pearl necklaces cost? And what’s the reason for their high price tags?
4 Common Pearl Types and Price Range (Value By Types of Pearls)
Before we look at the common types of real pearls and their value, let’s look at the basics of the pearls first.
Essentially, the real pearls are among the most precious of the gemstones, with the primary reason for their preciousness coming from the fact that the pearls are made by oysters and mussels, among other kinds of bivalve mollusk species.
Today, however, most of the pearls used in jewelry are cultured through the insertion of the basic ingredients/ materials into the mollusk. Thereafter, the mollusk lays several concentric layers of the nacre, and this goes on until the pearls are formed. In such instances, the iridescent nacre represents the hallmark of the actual/ real pearls.
Note, on the other hand, that the fake pearls are made of ceramic, glass, shell, or even plastic, and these materials are made to look like real pearls. In most cases, the fake pearls will be painted and also covered with different materials to simulate the actual luster or pearls, albeit with a fake iridescence. To the human eye, these fake pearls look real, but you really shouldn’t be fooled by these pieces, especially when you know that the real pearls are nowhere as cheap as the fakes peddled. Bear in mind that as much as 99% of the fake pearls on the market are poor-quality pieces that are only used in low-cost fashion jewelry.
So, which are the most common types of pearl necklaces?
To figure out the actual cost of buying real pearl necklaces, you have to understand how the pearls are valued. Generally, it’s worth noting that the traditional strand of white pearls would go for anything from around $100 for the freshwater pearls to even $100,000 or more for the larger strands.
Common Types of Real Pearls
First is the Tahitian pearl, a dark and exotic type of pearl. It is commonly referred to as the black pearl, and it comes in different colors for gray to green, and others are in aubergine.
These pearls are from French Polynesia, and they are the preferred kind of pearls for fine jewelry lovers looking for pearls that are truly unique and rare.
The Tahitian pearls don’t require any kind of treatment to be able to retain their black/ dark iridescence, and the different colors associated with these pearls are all-natural. The Tahitian pearls are smaller than the South Sea Pearls, although they can grow quite large, to an average size of between 8mm and 14mm.
The unique color and iridescence of the Tahitian pearls, along with their uniqueness, is the reason why these black Tahitian pearls are rather pricey, with prices ranging from $3000 to over $35,000.
2.Japanese Akoya Pearls
The cultured Japanese Akoya pearls are regarded as the classic white pearls, and they are the most famous kind of pearls globally thanks to their perfectly round shape and the nearly perfect and matching bright, glossy, and highly reflective luster.
What you may not know about the Akoya pearls is that these classics were the first kind of pearls to ever be farmed 100+ years ago, and they’ve come to be widely accepted as the best of cultured pearls. Even so, it’s worth noting that the Akoya pearls are generally smaller than most of the other types of cultured pearls, and they average 6mm-9mm in size.
These pearl strands are also highly-priced, with the cheapest going for $1000, and the most expensive Akoya pearls will cost you more than $10,000.
The Cultured Freshwater Pearls are from China, and they are the most common kind of pearls for people looking for real but affordable pearls and pearl necklaces. These pearls are rather colorful but also budget-friendly, and you get to choose from a wide array of colors, from and white to pink, lavender, peach, and even pearls in black hues.
Their sizes are also quite variable, ranging from 6mm-7mm for the smaller pearls to the bigger ones that are between 10mm and 11mm. And thanks to modern innovations, some of the cultured freshwater pearls are as big as 15mm. In addition to the variety of colors and sizes, these pearls are also available in varied shapes, meaning that you will find the most unique or diverse options here.
The freshwater pearls range in prices from $50 to $20,000.
4.South Sea Pearls
Also known as the Rolls Royce of pearls or the Queen of the Cultured Pearls, the South Sea Pearls are the most valuable and the largest kind of pearls that are grown in the pearls scene today.
The average size of the South Sea Pearl is between 10mm and 15mm. Note that there are white and golden South Sea pearls, and the smallest size of these pearls is 8mm. Some of these pearls can be bigger than 16mm.
These pearls are grown in the large pearl oysters that are native to Myanmar, the Philippines, Australia, as well as Indonesia.
Given their uniqueness, size, and the qualities of these pearls, the South Sea Pearl Strands are priced differently, with prices ranging from $1,000 to over $100,000.
What Are The Most Expensive Pearls?
So, which at the most expensive kinds of pearls?
Well, the world’s most expensive pearl is the pearl that was discovered in the Palawan Island seas by a Filipino fisherman. The pearl measured at least 26inches. Today, this pearl is valued at $100,000.
Natural Pearls VS Cultured Pearls
If you’re shopping for the best quality pearls, but you’re confused about the terms used, we’ll let you know that there are some technical differences between the natural and cultured pearls, and these differences are what determine the actual value of the pearls.
Natural pearls can be defined as gemstones that are found in the sea and from oysters or other kinds of mollusks. So, the oyster divers would have to dive to the seafloor to get these gems.
The cultured pearls, on the other hand, are the pearls obtained through specific pearl-farming techniques. Although they are made of 100% real pearls, they are not as rare as natural (mined) pearls.
Over the past years, the rarity of natural pearls has gone up significantly, with some noting that the natural oyster pearls are close to being extinct, and they are quite hard to be found on the surface of the ocean or the seafloor. As a result, natural pearls are much more expensive than cultured pearls.
How Much Are Pearls Worth? Value by Types of Pearls – South Sea Pearls Value
To determine the actual value of pearls, there are 6 main factors that will play a role in the actual value of the pearls. These factors are the size, shape, color, luster, surface, and pearl’s nacre quality.
Regarding the value of the pearls, the South Sea Pearls are the most expensive and the most valuable pearls on the market. These pearls are naturally occurring and come in two shades – white and gold.
So, how much do the pearl necklaces cost? Essentially, the classic strand of the white pearl necklace is priced from $100 for the Freshwater cultured pearls to more than $10,000 for the South Sea, Akoya, and Tahitian pearls.
For most of the pearls, their shapes and size will determine the overall price of that pearl necklace. And with these in mind, pearl necklaces made of the South Sea pearls, for example, will be valued at $100,000+.
Other factors that determine the value of pearls
As mentioned above, the most common factors that determine the cost and value of the pearls are variable, and the many types of pearls on the market will be valued depending on their features.
Top-valued pearls in terms of specific factors:
- Pearl Types– the most valuable pearl is the South Sea pearl
- Pearl Size– Generally, larger pearls are a lot more valuable than the smaller pearls
- Pearl colors– the pearls come in various colors, and the unique colored ones are more valuable.
- Pearl Shape– Rounder pearls hold a lot of value than the ones that are not that rounded.
- Pearl Luster– The most valuable pearls boast a lustrous shine.
- Pearl’s surface quality– A pearl that is highly valuable will always have fewer blemishes on them.
How much does a real pearl necklace cost?
The most expensive and valuable pearl necklaces are the white and gold hue necklaces. These classic strands of the white pearls often range from $100 to over $100,000). The Akoya and the South Sea pearls are among the most valuable pearls.
Are Pearls a good Investment in 2021?
Jewelry has, for the longest time, been seen as one of the investment vehicles one could opt for, especially if you are looking for paperless investment vehicles. But after some research, you will agree with us that jewelry is only an investment if the thing that you are investing in is valuable and if its value will appreciate. So, are pearls considered a sound investment tool?
Well, if you have natural pearls and you take great care of the pearls, these gemstones will retain their value for pretty much a lifetime. But then again, you’d have to find the best quality pearl gemstones which are durable. And when you’re buying the pearls, you should be thinking of getting the pieces of jewelry that will last long enough to serve as family heirlooms and will remain valuable to be passed down to the younger generations.
This will not happen overnight, at least not for most of us, which is why it is important for you to start off the journey with the smaller, but valuable pieces before you move up to the more expensive South Sea pearls for your cocktail rings or pearl necklaces. If you make such decisions, you will enjoy lifelong investments that you will not regret.
Real pearls and pearl necklaces are quite expensive and valuable. And if you are looking for the cheaper pearls, you’d have to settle for the cheaper freshwater cultured pearls. Generally, the South Sea, Tahitian, and the Japanese Akoya are the most expensive types of pearls.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.