History of use

How much does one real pearl cost?

Pearls are one of the most famous and mysterious jewels in the world. Some believe that jewelry with pearls is less valuable than jewelry with precious stones, and they cannot be taken to a pawnshop if you need to quickly improve your financial situation. However, it is not. Let’s figure out how to hand over pearls to a pawnshop.

Do pawn shops accept it?

  • Difficult to evaluate. The latter differs from the valuation of other jewelry, so only an experienced jeweler who has undergone special training and has special equipment can determine the price of a pearl brought to a pawnshop.
  • High popularity. A wide variety of this jewelry has appeared on the shelves of jewelry stores. You can find not only natural pearls and their imitation, but also cultured ones. It is grown on special farms. Such a specimen can be distinguished from one found at sea only by a certificate.

What does the price depend on?

Neolombard has the necessary equipment, and the high level of training of its employees allows it to determine the origin of jewelry and set prices. The pawnshop accepts not only precious metals, but also any precious stones, as well as pearls.

What affects the cost of pearls? Why are some pieces of jewelry worthless, while collectors are willing to pay over $1 million for other pieces?


Imitations have no value since they only superficially resemble a natural gemstone. They are not accepted in pawnshops – it is impossible to deceive the employees.

Cultured and natural pearls are valued. Both options are grown in natural environments. Their formation is based on the same processes. The only difference between cultured and natural pearls is that the latter is produced under strict human control. A specialist places a small grain of sand in the shell, after which a jewel is formed in it.

This is interesting! Natural pearls are very rarely found in shells. Finding just one pearl can require more than 100 shellfish, making prices for specimens found at sea very high.


The same rules apply here as with precious stones – the larger the size and weight of the pearl, the higher the price. River specimens have a diameter from 3 to 11 mm, and sea specimens – up to 22 mm.


Many people are accustomed to seeing pearls as smooth and even, but this is not always the case. It may have an elongated or uneven shape, dimples on the surface, and small creases. Such shortcomings reduce the price.


Pearls even from the same mollusk can have a different intensity of shine. This depends on the thickness of the mother-of-pearl layer. The brighter the jewel shimmers, the higher the price.


Most often, pearls are white in color, but some types of oysters produce stones with different shades. The color is also affected by the condition of the water in which the mollusk lives. Depending on environmental factors, pearls can be pink, purple, cream, champagne, blue and even “gasoline” (with bright multi-color tints).

The rarer the color, the higher the price. The rarest are soft pink, tangerine and green, gradually turning into blue.

Availability of certificates

The certificate confirms the authenticity of the jewelry that contains pearls. The price of pearls with a certificate from a recognized organization is much higher than without it.

It’s fun!

The largest pearl in the world is considered to be “Lao Tzu” – 24 cm in diameter. Its price is $3,5 million!

The average cost of a necklace made of natural pearls with a diameter of 7-15 mm is 200-000 US dollars. For example, the lot shown in the photo above was sold at this price. The jewelry has a length of 300 mm and an interesting clasp with floral motifs and diamonds.

Pearls are one of the most mysterious and unusual precious stones. It is formed in the shell of a mollusk, enveloping any grains of sand that accidentally fall into the shell with layers of nacre. This unique creation of nature owes its formation to a mollusk that seeks to protect its own mantle from the invasion of a foreign body.

The Indians believed that pearl jewelry brought prosperity and financial stability to the family; the Chinese believed that products with mother-of-pearl affect a person’s thoughts and energy, cleansing and making the body healthier. Europeans believed in their power to prolong human life.

What the price depends on

Precious beads grown in seawater are more valuable than freshwater beads. Sea beauties have a brighter shiny appearance in contrast to freshwater ones. Sea water, rich in various salts, which influence the structure of mother-of-pearl layers, contributes to saturation with shine.

The marine appearance is glossy, iridescent in the rays of light, with the shape of a ball, a drop, measuring 6-18 mm in diameter. The freshwater species has a matte, duller surface with a subdued shine, oval or elongated shape, up to 7 mm in diameter.

Attention! The wear resistance of river species is higher than that of sea species. This is facilitated by a greater number of layers of durable mother-of-pearl.

The high price of sea pearls is influenced by the fact that several implants can be implanted into the mantle of a freshwater oyster, while only one can be implanted into the mantle of a sea oyster. First, the implant is grown on a piece of mantle, then it is planted in the shell of a river oyster in the middle of the mantle.

Note! Black pearls with shades of green, silver, and chocolate tones are the most valued. The habitat of the rare variety is the Gulf of California, Tahiti, and the southern Pacific Ocean of French Polynesia.

How much does natural pearl cost?

How much a pearl costs depends on many parameters: size, shape, presence of surface roughness, flaws, thickness of nacre layers, color, place of extraction. The classification is not always affected by the size of the stone. Large specimens with defects and imperfections in gloss, regardless of color, are very expensive. The price increases significantly from a diameter of 9,5 mm.

Interesting Facts. The 55,95-carat pear-shaped La Peregrina was sold at auction in 1969 for $37. The Lao Tzu Weight Pearl, weighing 6,4 kg, shaped like the head of Allah, found in the valves of a giant tridacna, is estimated at 40 million US dollars. La Regente was sold at auction in 2005 for $2,5 million.

In the pearl industry, it is customary to divide pearls into classes:

  • To class A include the highest quality varieties of beads. Rare, with a smooth, even, shiny surface, thick layers of aragonite are classified as class AAA. With flaws up to 10% – to class AA, in AA+ flaws should not exceed 5%. In class A products, the percentage of defects occupies a quarter of the surface. This type is successfully used in the jewelry industry in products with a frame that successfully masks small defects.
  • Class D, can be classified as jewelry conditionally due to their small size, large roughness, and blurred color.
  • Classes C and B have an irregular shape with defects and poor shine.

Classes D, B, C They are mainly used to decorate boxes and photo frames. Jewelers prefer not to use low quality pearls.

Approximate prices for products with pearls

The price of pearls largely depends on their shape. The more correct the appearance, the more expensive it is. The spherical shape is less common than others, so the cost of beads is more expensive. An elongated, flattened look on the sides is cheaper. A pebble with a round, shiny surface without flaws will cost at least 2 times more than its elongated counterpart.

The cost of pearls ranges from 100 to 1 thousand US dollars. The price of 1 high-quality river bead with a diameter of 5-11 millimeters reaches 400 US dollars, beads with a diameter of 2-5 mm are cheaper.

Attention! Cultivated options are valued cheaper than natural ones.

The cost of products depends on the correct selection of pearls by size. A gold ring with 1 pearl can be bought for 5000 rubles, earrings with several beads – for 10 thousand rubles, beads measuring 15 centimeters or more – from 1000 rubles. The cost is influenced by the quality and length of the threads.

Differences between natural and fake pearls

Often, unscrupulous sellers try to sell an artificial fake to the buyer under the guise of real pearls. To avoid falling for this trick, you should know some rules:

  • Balls made of glass or plastic slide easily against each other, unlike real pearl beads, which have a rough surface.
  • The weight of jewelry made from natural stone is superior to plastic jewelry.
  • A natural pearl bead has torn edges in the places where holes are drilled, in contrast to the flawless holes of an artificial one.

Underestimation of the price of jewelry by sellers may indicate that the jewelry is counterfeit.

Important! A real piece of jewelry must be accompanied by a certificate of quality.

Types of pearls

Mentions of the precious stone include clay tablets of the Persians and sacred scriptures of the Hindus. Ancient mythology attributes pearls to the tears of angels. In fact, it is an organic mineral that contains calcium carbonate and a horny substance – conchiolin.

The formation of a jewel that can be reproduced by living organisms and does not require cutting or additional processing takes decades. Moreover, not all formations have jewelry value, but only one out of a hundred.

The most intensive growth of layers of pearlescent protein was observed in the first year of a foreign body entering the oyster. A tiny speck of dust reaches a diameter of 2 millimeters over the course of a year. Subsequently, the annual growth of the ball does not exceed 0,3 millimeters.

There are 2 types of pearls in nature, river and sea origin.. The natural appearance is formed in the natural habitat of the bivalve mollusks Pinctada and Pteria, which live in the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The main suppliers of sea pearls are Japan and the Republic of Sri Lanka, and river pearls are Russia, China, Germany, and North America.

Farms for cultivation pearls

The mid-1912th century was marked by a ban on catching shellfish due to their active destruction. In Russia, private mother-of-pearl fishing was prohibited by decree of Tsar Peter I in XNUMX. Currently, artificially created farms are used to grow pearls, the idea of ​​which belongs to the Japanese entrepreneur and researcher Mikimoto Kokichi.

Attention! A cultivated gemstone is incorrectly called artificial, because its formation involves a living organism, which was provided with comfortable living conditions in a farm environment.

For the cultivation of marine species, reservoirs with salt water are equipped, and for river species, with fresh water. The process of forming a cultured jewel consists of several stages:

  • To form the core of the bead, a small ball is made.
  • The kernel is planted in the oyster shell.
  • Oysters are lowered into a pond, secured on established nets, where the core is gradually enveloped in thin layers of mother-of-pearl.
  • After a certain time, the shell is removed from the water, opened, and a new jewel is born.

It is impossible to predict the size of the future harvest, since not every replanting is successful. Implant rejection can occur at the very beginning of replanting and nothing will form.

The color of the stone is influenced by the chemical composition of the shellfish habitat. White is considered the classic color, but with the help of new technologies, farm workers achieve persistent pink, gold, black, blue, green, silver colors with different shades, the number of which exceeds a hundred.

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