Selection of your necklace

Choose a cultured pearl necklace for its effect on your appearance and personality. The human eye is the single most important tool in judging the quality of a pearl.

When considering buying pearls, there are five important features to look for according to international standards.


The paramount defining virtue of beauty and therefore value. The lustre of a pearl is like the personality of a person. The features may not always be perfect, but if the personality is strong the person appears interesting, attractive and very often beautiful. Lustre describes the beauty of light being reflected from the surface of the pearl and simultaneously refracted from inside the pearls nacre. To achieve good lustre, pearls must be made of fine thick nacre. Nacre refers to the hundreds of skins or layers of matter covering the nucleus. The more perfect the construction and layering of the nacre the more perfect the reflection of light which creates the lustre.


Size matters. The larger the pearl the scarcer. Pearls should be measured across the smallest diameter. Where pearls have a definite elongated shape the measurement should be taken across the smallest diameter and also across the largest length of the pearl.


Perfectly round pearls are the most scarce and are valued accordingly. But there’s more to pearls than just round ones. "Baroque" pearls have a personality of their own with their voluptuous lines and contemporary impact. Pearl shapes are categorized as either "classical" or "baroque".


The more flawless the pearl the higher the value. Pearls are created in the ocean, rivers or lakes by wild oysters (salt water) or molluscs (fresh water) and nature almost always leaves its mark. Even though most markings can be seen by the naked eye they are part of the unique and individualizing elements of every pearl.


Color affects the perceived beauty of the pearl according to the buyer. Popularity impacts on price even though color is irrelevant to the pearl’s intrinsic value.

Design - Length

Long necklaces are informal and versatile, while short necklaces can be demure, sophisticated or casual. Choker necklets enhance a long neck and longer strands slenderize and appear to elongate the neck.

Choker - 35-40cm (14" - 16") in length. Should nestle around the base of the neck in single or multiple strands.

Princess - 45cm (18") in length. Halfway between a choker and matinee length.

Matinee - 50 - 60cm (20" - 32") in length. Should fall to the top of the cleavage.

Opera - 70 - 80cm (28" - 32") in length. Should fall to the breastbone.

Sautoir or Rope - Any pearl necklace longer than opera length.

Bib - Multiple strands of pearls, each shorter than the one below, nestled together in one necklace.

Graduated - A necklace comprised of pearls which taper downward in size from large pearls in the center to smaller pearls at the ends.

Uniform - A necklace which appears to be comprised entirely of pearls the same size, though there is generally a slight difference in size between the centre and the end pearls for a more proportionate look.

Varieties of pearls available

(Prices on application)

Natural Pearls

Natural Pearls are very rarely found, and are normally traded at auction in New York and London.
Uses: Investment (special orders only)

South Sea Pearls

Very large oysters, the "Pinctala Maxima", found only in the areas of northwestern Australia and Indonesia create South Sea Pearls. They are the most prized of all pearls for their size and rarity.
Uses: necklaces, earrings, rings, pendants, bracelets and broaches.

Tahitian Black Pearls

Tahitian "oysters" are the only "oysters" in the world which secrete a black pigment directly into the pearly strata. Other natural black pearls get their color when a dark tint from a foreign substance enters each layer of nacre.
Uses: necklaces, earrings, rings, pendants, bracelets and broaches.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are grown in rivers and lakes in Europe, Russia, China, Japan and America. They have an endless variety of shape, size and colour.
Uses: necklaces, earrings, rings, pendants, bracelets and broaches.

Mabe Pearls

A "Mabe Pearl" is a half-pearl created by using a nucleus shaped like a ball cut in half. They come in teardrop, oval and heart shape and are also called Blister Pearls.
Uses: earrings, rings, pendants and broaches.

Akoya Pearls

Oysters grown principally off the coast of Japan create Akoya pearls. They are produced in large quantities and in the past enjoyed owning marketshare of the worlds pearl sales.
Uses: necklaces, earrings, rings, pendants, bracelets and broaches.

Seedless Pearls

Seedless pearls are created when an oyster rejects its nucleus and only the pearly strata remain. A much smaller and irregularly shaped pearl, known as Keshi.
Uses: necklaces and various forms of jewellery.

Caring for your pearls

Cultured pearls are precious jewels and should be treated as such.

Each strand of pearls should be stored in its own box or bag away from other jewellery.

Pearls should not be worn whilst bathing, showering or playing sport.

"Last thing on and first thing off" - Pearls should be put on after applying makeup etc and should be taken off before removing makeup etc.

Pearls can be cleaned with a damp soft cloth. If immersing in water is needed, then the pearls should be restrung.

Pearls should be restrung approximately every two years or earlier depending on wear.


Our Guarantee

"Girls with Pearls" source the finest pearls on the market today. Our pearls are guaranteed for 12 months against defects in the pearl nacre coating. The guarantee and receipt of purchase MUST accompany claims.

The nacre thickness is almost solid and therefore will wear well, with proper care. The individual markings in the pearl nacre created by the shellfish are not deemed to be defects Defect does include peeling and flaking of the nacre. Damage sustained to the pearl through impact or abrasion or cosmetic staining is not covered, nor is breakage of the stringing thread or clasp.