Pearl Luster Defined
Pearl luster (also spelled Lustre) is the measurement of the quality and quantity of light that reflects from the surface and just under the surface of a pearl.
Pearl Luster is the Shine That Give Pearls Their Beauty
Luster is essentially the reflective quality or brilliance of the surface of the pearl nacre. The more lustrous the pearl, the more it shines and reflects light and images. In general, saltwater pearls tend to have greater luster than freshwater pearls. Pearls with low luster appear white or chalky, rather than brilliant and shiny.
High Pearl Luster Comes From More Nacre
High luster results at least in part from the amount of nacre deposited to form the pearl, which in turn is a function of how long the pearl has had to develop within the oyster. Pearls with a high luster have more nacre and are generally valued much more highly than pearls with a lower luster or less nacre. A bit of an exception to this value rule are the keshi or "poppyseed" pearls. Because they are 100% nacre, keshi tend to be the most lustrous of all pearls, yet they are often less expensive than cultured pearls.
Related Articles and Forum Threads: