Buying pearls can be a fun and rewarding experience. You must wish that the pearls you buy are worth the money you pay for them. However, there are many factors to consider before buying a beautiful new piece of pearl jewelry on eBay for yourself or someone you love. We’ve put together a simple pearl price guide with areas to consider, helping you make pearl shopping the fun process it should be.

These factors below can affect the price of pearls:

* Type of pearl (South Sea, Tahiti, Saltwater, Freshwater, Akoya, Natural, Cultured, Whole, Blister, etc.)

* Size

* Colour

* Shape

* Luster

* Area

* Nacre thickness

* Coincidence

Pearl Type:

When buying pearls on eBay, the first question to ask yourself or the seller is the type of pearl. Is it a saltwater pearl (grown in oceans, sea, gulf, or bay) or freshwater pearl (from a river, lake, or pond)? Akoya pearls can cost several times more than freshwater pearls of similar quality and size. One reason for this is that a mussel in a lake can produce up to 40 freshwater pearls in one harvest season. An oyster in the sea usually produces one or two saltwater pearls at a time. The Tahitian pearl, the South Sea pearl and the Akoya pearl are typical saltwater pearls.

Today, as a result of the high quality and affordable price of freshwater pearls, it has created a renewed fad in freshwater pearls as an affordable alternative to expensive saltwater pearls, such as the Pearl of the Sea. South and the Pearl of Tahiti. It is normal that some of the high class freshwater pearls are priced more expensive than the medium quality Akoya pearls. Some high-end large round white or pink freshwater pearls may retail for more than $ 5,000- $ 10,000 in jewelry.

Whole pearls are much more expensive than blister pearls and Mabe pearls


Generally, the larger the pearl, the more valuable it is. The size can have a big impact on the price, for example a 1mm increase in the size of medium quality pearls can increase their price by 100% to 200%.

South Sea Pearls: Generally larger than freshwater and Akoya pearls, the average diameters of which tend to range between 9 and 19mm.

Tahitian pearls: There is no doubt that the larger the Tahitian pearl, the more expensive it is. Tahitian pearls are usually between 9 and 18 mm in size and their average size is usually between 9 and 12 mm.

Freshwater pearl: The size of the freshwater pearl is more variable than that of the saltwater pearl, which can vary from 2-3mm to 14-16mm or even larger depending on the size of the bead core inserted and the thickness of the mother-of-pearl.

Akoya pearls: The size of Akoya pearls is usually between 5 and 10 mm. Although Akoya pearls are often called Japanese pearls, common Akoya pearls on eBay can be grown outside of Japan. Due to pollution and strong competition from other Asian countries, China, Korea, Sri Lanka, etc., Akoya farms have been greatly reduced. In contrast, China has become the leading producer of Akoya pearls less than 8mm in size, most of the Akoya pearls larger than 8mm are grown in Japan, such as Mikimoto pearls. If you find a 7-7.5mm Akoya pearl necklace on eBay, it is most likely China cultured Akoya pearls.


The pearl color is a combination of the body color and the hue color that overlaps the pearl body color. Pearls with shades of light color and shape are more desirable.

Body Color Category:

Light pink or pink color – the highest price category. Natural color pink pearls generally have light pink body color instead of hot pink or ping, they will cost more than dyed pink pearls, whose body color looks pinker / darker than natural pink .

* White color: Equal to or less than pearls with a light pink body color.

* Light cream color – will generally cost less than white.

* Cream color – will generally cost less than light cream color.

* Dark cream and yellow color: it will be priced 40% lower than white Akoya pearls.

Saltwater pearls that are white and light pink generally sell for more than yellowish. Gold colored pearls from the Indonesian and Philippine South Sea are an exception and can be sold for as much as white colored South Sea pearls, provided the golden color is natural and intense.

Pink undertones are desirable on white pearls which are the most valuable. Greenish or yellowish hues tend to lower the price of white pearls.


Generally speaking, the rounder and symmetrical the pearl, the more valuable the pearl. Some unique and asymmetrical shaped pearls are also desirable and are often used to create distinctive pearl jewelry. The most economical shapes are baroque, irregular and asymmetric pearls. Most of the time, these pearls will have visible growth lines surrounding the pearl.


What is Pearl Luster?

* The brilliance and radiance of pearls.

* Strong light reflections

* Forms light reflections

* Contrast between the bright and dark areas of the pearl.

The higher and deeper the luster, the more valuable the pearl. High luster pearls will show strong, sharp light reflections and good contrast between the bright and dark areas of the pearl. Low luster pearls appear milky, chalky, and dull.


It is normal for pearls to have some flaws. The fewer and smaller the defects, the more valuable the pearl will be.

Mother-of-pearl thickness:

The thickness of the nacre is essential for cultured pearls. Cultured pearls are formed after a human intentionally inserts a core of shell beads into the mollusk. If the core of the bead is not left in the mollusk long enough, the mollusk will not have time to coat it with enough layers of nacre to make it a shiny pearl.

The thicker the nacre of a pearl, the better and more valuable the pearl will be. One of the biggest selling points of freshwater cultured pearls is that they generally have a higher percentage of pearl nacre than their saltwater counterparts.


The better the pearls are combined in terms of color, shape, luster, size, and surface quality, the more valuable they will be.

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