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how to select your pearl

OUR SALTWATER PEARLS

Mother of Pearl & Pearl Jewellery

SOUTH SEA PEARLS

Our Australian South Sea pearls are grown at our Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm just north of Broome. South Sea pearls are typically larger than other types of pearls, with an average size of 10-15mm.

Seagrass Pendant worn by Model

AKOYA PEARLS

Our Akoya pearls are cultured at our Broken Bay Pearl Farm on the mouth of the Hawkesbury River and also at Brisbane Water just north of Sydney. Akoya pearls are typically smaller than other types of pearls, with an average size of around 7-8 millimeters.

KESHI PEARLS

Keshi pearls can be found in any location where cultured pearls are farmed and are a beautiful by-product of pearling. They usually come in irregular shapes, as they are as close to a natural pearl as you can get in a farmed environment. They are grown at our Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm.

Mabe Pearl Ring on Model

MABE PEARLS

Mabe pearls also known as blister pearls, or half pearls. What makes Mabe pearls unique is the shape of the pearl. Because they are cultivated against the inside of the pearl shell, rather than within its tissue, one side of the pearl is flat. They are grown at our Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm.

SURFACE

Pearls of Australia jewellery features only clean to moderately blemished pearls. Lightly and moderately blemished pearls can be matched as strands. Regardless of the type of pearl, if the pearl has a smooth, clean surface it will be valued higher than those with multiple inclusions.

Our grading system categorises Akoya Pearls Surface as:

AAA

Clean / lightly blemished

AA

Moderately blemished

A

Heavily blemished

Our grading system categorises South Sea Pearls Surface as:

A1

Clean

A2

Very lightly blemished

A3

Lightly blemished

B1

Moderately blemished

B2

Heavily blemished

LUSTRE

Pearls of Australia jewellery exclusively features pearls of good to excellent lustre. It is observed below the pearl surface and expressed through the sharpness of the image it reflects. Lustre describes the way light reflection off the surface of the pearl, and the sharper the lustre – the more valuable the pearl.

Our grading system for both South Sea & Akoya categorises Lustre as:

Excellent

Very Good

Good

Fair

Poor

SIZE

Our grading system for both South Sea & Akoya expresses Size as millimetres (mm) or momme (3.75g) – which is the Japanese weight measure for pearls and commonly used for the international market. In terms of both Akoya and South Sea Pearls – the larger the size, the more valuable the pearl. This is because large, perfectly symmetrical pearls are rare as they take many years to form. 

South Sea Pearl Sizes

South Sea Pearl size usually range from 8 to over 20mm. Australian South Sea Pearls average size is bigger than their Indonesian and Philippines counterparts. Relative proportion and balance come into play here rather than size alone.

Akoya Pearl Sizes

Akoya Pearl size ranges from 4mm – 10mm with the average sitting around 6.5-8mm.

SHAPE

Pearls of Australia jewellery features all shapes of pearls however there is generally a larger diversity in shape from South Sea Pearls than Akoya Pearls. The rarest type of pearl is a truly round pearl – and therefore it is regarded as the most valuable. 

Our grading system for both South Sea & Akoya categorises Shape as:

Round South Sea Pearl

Round

Drop

Button

Baroque

Circle

Keshi

COLOUR

Pearls of Australia jewellery only features the natural colours of pearls we grow. Value is weighted according to the depth, saturation and rarity of the colour. 

Our grading system for both South Sea & Akoya categorises Colour as:

White

Silver

Cream

Gold

Pink

Blue

Most Australian South Sea pearls sit on the Silver – White Spectrum whilst Australian Akoya will produce the full range above.

Other pearl types and rare finds can come in peacock, amber or purple natural shades and more.

For further information & special requests, please email us at [email protected]

If you want to learn more about our pearl jewellery from one of our incredibly knowledgeable and friendly customer care team – book a private in-person or virtual consultation today!