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Consumer Guide to Buying South Sea Pearls

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  • Consumer Guide to Buying South Sea Pearls

    When purchasing Australian South Seas, consumers need to understand that there are several differences and expectations in quality when purchasing South Sea pearls as opposed to Akoya pearls.
    • Luster and Orient: Unlike Akoya pearls which are known for their sharp luster, Australian pearls give off a subtle, satiny luster that is softer than seen in Akoyas.
      Color: South Seas are primarily in the white family including some of the most prized which include white with pink overtones, silver overtones, and creamy pink overtones. Golden South Seas are also very sought after. Other colors include blue, green gold, and black tones.
      Surface: Australian pearls spend an extensive amount of time in the oyster so it is more likely that minor blemishing will occur. However, flawless pearls can occur and are very, very rare. As a general rule, minor blemishing in Australian South Seas is more acceptable than in cultured Akoya pearls. As a consumer, it is up to you to develop your own standard of what is high quality so it is a good idea to compare quality with several reputable stores.
      Nacre Thickness: Nacre in South Seas is "usually" very thick. South Seas are cultivated in the oyster much longer than in Akoyas and as of a result have much thicker nacre and lasting beauty for generations.
      Shape: Round pearls are the rarest. They can be found in round and baroque shapes.
      Size: South Seas are rarely smaller than 10mm or larger than 20mm. Round South Sea pearls larger than 16-17mm are extraordinarily hard to find.

    If you need any help with South Seas, I am always glad to answer your questions!

    Amanda Raab