In the first of my pearl trilogy posts, I shared some tips about Tahitian pearls. In the second, you were introduced to some fabulous baroques. Today I will shed some light on what to look for when seeking the perfect round. Every woman should own at least one piece of jewelry with classic, perfectly round pearls. I love graduating and stringing them on a necklace the traditional way but with a twist. I prefer that they be a focal point. When classic pearls curve all the way around, the neck appears shorter. And well, we don't want that, right? But irrespective style preference, choice, the quality of a pearl should never be compromised .
While natural pearls are grown in the wild, their cultivated cousins are formed when a small piece of mantle tissue (the mantle is the organ which makes the shell) is inserted into the mollusk. A composite material, known as nacre is secreted over time to form the outer layer of the pearl. High quality natural pearls are rare and very expensive. Luckily, for today’s consumer, the quality of pearls derived from modern freshwater cultivation methods are excellent, but even so, pearl classification can be tricky for the novice. When searching for the perfect round, I seek to answer the following questions: Is the surface smooth? How is the luster? Is the shape round or nearly round? Is the surface mirror-like or is it dull and chalky? Is the nacre thick?
In addition, if a necklace is graduated, the pearls should indeed be perfectly graduated. And when using classic pearls for earrings, they should match, which is easier said than done. I have found many a perfect pearl without its soul mate!
When I purchase a string of classic rounds, I always drill one to observe nacre thickness, in fact, I used one of the pearls I drilled on La Perfect Petite. My favorite rounds have lilac undertones, they are difficult to find, expensive and worth every penny.