Are Real Pearls Worth Money

  1. Are Cultured Pearls Worth Any Money
  2. Are Real Pearls Worth Money Today
  3. What Are Real Pearls Worth
  4. Are Real Pearls Worth Money Uk
  5. Value Of Classic String Of Pearls

A pearl is a hard object that is created within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk. It is made of calcium carbonate, usually valued as a piece of jewelry.

  • The size of freshwater pearls averages around 6mm to 7mm, but they can get as large as 9mm. Pearl Colors – The natural colors that Freshwater pearls come in are white and broad spectrum of pastels, ranging from milky pinks to rich lavender. Tahitian Pearls. Tahitian pearls are best known for their excellent dark shapes.
  • Pearls are so magical because they are the only gems produced by a living organism. Every pearl is unique and forms a special bond with the wearer. Imitations can’t do that. The irresistible charm and the long-lasting beauty of a real pearl of fine quality can never be replaced with low quality pearls either.

A traditional strand of white pearls can range from $100 (Freshwater pearl necklace) to $10,000 (Akoya pearl necklace). A strand of large, flawless South Sea pearls could even be valued as high as $100,000+. The truth is there is no simple answer to the question “how much are pearls worth” is It depends on the quality and type of pearl.

The rarest form of pearl is the natural or wild pearl which does not have any human intervention. A cultured pearl is formed via a pearl farm using a human during its natural process.

The price of a pearl depends on the size, the jeweler selling it, shape, luster, color, the type and its rarity.

How much do pearls cost?

Pearls are usually manufactured into a piece of jewelry and can be sold in different forms, commonly found as earrings and necklaces. On average, a pearl can cost anywhere from as little as $60 to as much as $20,000 or more for the rarest type on the market. Refer to our table below to see the most common types on the market, along with the costs you may pay.

Today, keep in mind that most pearls aren’t naturally grown, but rather, they are cultured pearls that are man-made. This is the norm for most that are within the industry, and you will find that a natural pearl can be very hard to find.

According to Pearls of Joy, the average strand of pearls can range anywhere from $35 to more than $35,000+

TypeDescriptionColorsAverage Price
AkoyaThese pearls are known to be perfectly round and have a fine reflective luster. Farmed more than 100 years ago, these pearls can be smaller than most pearls, ranging 6 to 9 millimeters in size.Classic with with overtones of silver/cream.$500 to $10,000+
FreshwaterQuite possibly the most versatile of all pearls on the market, these pearls can come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Even though they won't be round in shape, they can similar in look to the Akoya pearl.Natural colors ranging from white to pink. Farmed versions can be dyed.$25 to $1,500+
South SeaAccording to, these are considered to be the Rolls Royce of all pearls. They are largest grown today and can range anywhere from 10 to 15 millimeters.Silky silver to golden tones.$1,000 to $100,000+
TahitianThese dark and exotic pearls, often referred to as a black pearl, can come in other colors such as gray and green. These colors are 100% natural and will range anywhere from 8 to 14 millimeters in size.Will be a natural black, but they can come in green to light silver.$500 to $20,000+

Are Cultured Pearls Worth Any Money

Factors that affect the cost


Round pearls will almost always be in demand since this what most people envision when they think of a pearl. However, it doesn’t mean it will be the most expensive pearl shape because some often enjoy the non-round pearls, too.


The cleaner the surface looks, the more it can cost. Since it’s a real gemstone, there will almost always be a slight imperfection, even if you can’t see it with your own eyes.


Touching on the surface point, the luster refers to the surface as well. Since all customers are looking for a higher quality pearl with a nearly mirror-like appearance, the brilliance is what will make it “pop,” increasing the price in the meantime.


With pearls and other gems in the jewelry world, size will matter. The larger the pearl is, the more you can expect to pay. When shopping for a pearl, it will be measured in millimeters and even the slightest difference can increase the price quite a bit.

Pearls overview

Any pearl found on the retail market will be marketed as a “cultured pearl” unless it’s labeled as a natural pearl. All of the pearls noted in our table above will be considered a cultured pearl. The process will involve surgically implanting an agent that will cause the process of creating a pearl in a farm-like atmosphere. During this process, the pearl being created will be spherical in shape and will have an environment similar to its natural surroundings. Because of this process, it can be very hard for jewelers, even if they are experienced, to distinguish the difference between a natural and cultured pearl. The only way to tell a difference is via an x-ray since a natural pearl will show internal formations and stages of its growth, whereas a cultured pearl will have a solid center with no signs of growth.

Pearl colors can include white, natural white, black, golden, chocolate, pink and lavender.

Tips to know:

A “black” pearl really isn’t black; instead, it’s a darker gray with shades of green and blue.

If purchasing from a retailer/jeweler for the first time, pay close attention to the return policy. Pearls of Joy, the resource we mentioned earlier, said you should almost always deal with a retailer that specializes in pearls only. This way, you can talk with an expert who knows the cultured pearl market.

To spot a fake pearl, gently grind the pearl across your teeth. If it seems smooth, then it’s a fake. A real one will have a gritty feel to it.

Of 8,000 or so species of oysters, only 20 are able to produce pearls.

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The pearl is said to represent purity, harmony, and humility, and wearing pearls can often be a sign of prestige.

Traditionally, pearls are woven into the silk threads in the necklace, but a jewelry wire can also be used to make the piece stronger and less likely to break.

The cost of a pearl necklace will depend on the type of pearl, the designer and jewelry store.

How much does a real pearl necklace cost?

All pearls you find at a local jeweler will be referred to as cultured pearls unless otherwise noted at natural pearls, and these cultured pearls can include the Akoya, Freshwater, South Sea and Tahitian pearls. Depending on the exact type of pearl and its size and quality, the cost of a pearl necklace can range from as little as $10 to as much as $35,000+. To help break down the exact costs of these pearls, let’s dig deeper and explain what exactly affects the price tag in our table below:

Type of PearlAverage Size RangeDescriptionAverage Price
Akoya5mm - 11mmThe original classic white pearl you're probably accustomed to seeing when you think of a pearl. Has a silver and cream-like overtone and is perfectly round in shape.$75 to $3,000
Freshwater2mm - 18mmWith a wide range of colors, freshwater pearls range from pink to lavender, as well as a myriad of combinations. This pearl will either be round or near round in shape.$50 to $1,000
South Sea9mm - 18mmRanges from a silver to golden tone in an almost nearly round shape. These pearls are highly prized due to its rarity and are often considered the Rolls Royce of the pearl types.$1,000 to $50,000+
Tahitian9mm - 16mmThe only pearl able to appear black naturally, but it can also range from a dark green to silver. This pearl will also either be round or near round in shape.$500 to $15,000 says pearl prices can range from less than $1 to more than $100,000, depending on the size, quality, luster, color, shape and type.

At Costco, the prices range from as little as $100 for a 100-inch cultured pearl necklace to as much $32,000 for a 16.5 mm South Sea 18-carat yellow gold strand.

Factors affecting the price


A pearl, when thought of, should be white or off-white in color; however, cream, pink, silver, yellow and black are also popular colors found on the market. Pearls can also come in a combination of hues, which can often be seen when the light reflects off of it. In general, pearls with a clear and shape overtone will be the highest in demand.


The luster, related to the surface in a way, will negatively affect the price and pearl’s quality if the luster is low. A high-quality luster should be similar to a mirror in appearance, almost shining and “popping” out when worn.


When dealing with cultured pearls found either online or at a local jeweler, the shape can determine the overall value of the pearl. Round pearls will always command a higher price tag when compared to an off-round or baroque pearl shape.


Are Real Pearls Worth Money Today

The size, probably the most important factor, matters with pricing. Like other pieces of jewelry, the larger the pearl is, the higher the price can be, just like a diamond on a wedding ring. Freshwater pearls can range from 2.0 to 12.0 mm, while a South Sea pearl can reach up to 20 mm in size.


The surface of the pearl is yet another pricing factor to pay close attention to. The cleaner the pearl’s surface is, the better it can be in terms of quality. Even though there will always be some sort of imperfection, the cost won’t be affected as long as it’s not noticeable when worn.


As seen in the table, the four major types can greatly affect the price. An Akoya pearl can cost much more than a freshwater pearl that’s identical in shape and size. The reason? One mussel in a lake can produce as many as 40 freshwater pearls during one season, while an oyster in the sea only produces one to two pearls at a time, according to eBay.

What are the extra costs?

A pearl necklace, in the future, may need to be restrung in the future. To restring, a professional often charges $25 to $75, depending on the size of the necklace.

Tips to know

If purchasing online or in person, always refer to the return policy to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable organization. A good company will always back their product up with a good return policy if the pearl doesn’t show up as planned.

Want to know if a pearl is real or fake? Simply rub it along your front teeth. If it feels gritty, it’s real; if it feels smooth, then there’s a good chance it’s fake.

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Average Reported Cost: $0

What Are Real Pearls Worth


Are Real Pearls Worth Money Uk

Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

Value Of Classic String Of Pearls

How much did you spend?