Getting my first Pearl Jewellery, what should I know?

Fascinated by pearls but don’t know where to start? Here’s a short crash course about pearls that would help you get started!


Wild Pearls vs Cultured Pearls

The main broad category of natural pearls, wild pearls vs cultured pearls. To start, we first need to understand how pearls are formed. In the wild, a pearl forms when an irritant such as a sand or rock or parasite finds its way into the mussel, oyster or clam. As a defence mechanism, the mollusk secretes a fluid to coat the irritant. This fluid is called the narce. Over time, layer upon layer of this coating is deposited onto the irritant until a pearl forms. 

The formation process is the same in cultivated pearl, except with the intervention of humans. Beads or piece of shell called Mother of Pearl are surgically implanted into the mollusk. These "irritants" are often grounded oyster shells, worth significant amounts of money. As long as enough layers of nacre is secreted onto the nucleus, the size of the core would not affect the beauty and durability of a gem-quality pearl.

However, it should also be noted that not all pearls come with a bead core.

Wild pearls are scarce, due to the presence of predators and the fact that pearls have been harvested in the wild for decades. As such most of the pearls we see in the market are cultured pearls.


Saltwater vs Freshwater Pearl 

Pearls can come from salt or freshwater bodies. Typically, saltwater pearls tend to be of a higher quality. Although there are several types of freshwater pearls are of considerable quality. Over time, with advancing techniques freshwater pearls have been rising in quality and well as variations. Making them an affordable and popular choice for demi-fine jewellery.  

Freshwater Pearls:
Comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes
e.g. Edison Freshwater Pearls, Baroque Pearls, Shaped Pearls

Image: Pearl Drop Necklace (Edison Freshwater Pearl) 

Image: Heart of the River Necklace (Freshwater Baroque Pearl)

Image: Star Shaped Pearl Necklace (COMING SOON!)

Saltwater Pearls:
Tends to be round, or off round baroques. Size is usually limited to the size of the species of oyster.
e.g. Akoya Pearls, Tahitian Pearls, South Sea Pearls

Image: Yellow Akoya Pearls

Image: Tahitian Pearl Necklace

*We only carry freshwater pearls at délica jewellery at this moment. Do sign up for our newsletter and follow our Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and promotions!



Does size matter? To a certain extend, yes! But it should be noted that this is not the only factor that marks a pearl's value. Other factors to consider includes the colour, size, luster, surface, origin and overall grade of the pearl.


Nevertheless, it is each individual pearl's merits that determines its value. At the end of the day, what's most important is that you find a piece that you like!

At délica jewellery, we aim to produce affordable yet quality demi-fine pearl jewellery. Our 14K Gold filled, gold vermeil and sterling silver jewellery are all designed and produced in-house, only giving you the best quality.

With these starter information, you should be well equipped to get your first pair of pearl jewellery. We hope this was helpful, and we’ll see you in our next post!

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Read more:
How to take care of your delica jewellery?

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