Pearl Rarity & Value Chart

January 07, 2019 0 Comments

Some of the most popular gems of all time, pearls, have been many women’s first choice for various types of jewelry. They are classic jewelry pieces that can make a powerful statement and perfectly fulfill any elegant outfit.

However, some pearls, such as saltwater pearls, tend to be very rare. They are actually thousands of times rarer than freshwater pearls, which makes them incredibly more valuable.

The most popular and valuable cultured pearls are South Sea pearls, Tahitian pearls, and Akoya pearls. As for the value of these pearls, the rarer the pearl the higher the value of the pearl. If you’re having trouble choosing one of them, here’s a pearl rarity chart to help you understand their differences in aesthetic and pearl value.

Pearl value is estimated with the help of seven factors: size, shape, color, luster, surface, nacre quality, and the way of formation (wild or cultured). To make this easier on you, here is our pearl rarity and value chart:

Pearl Value & Rarity Chart

Pearl Type

Pearl Rarity

Pearl Value

South Sea Pearl

Rarest pearl

The larger the pearl the rarer it is

Golden South Sea pearls are the rarest South Sea pearl and the darker gold are higher value.

Average Pearl $400

Pearl Range $170 - $50,000

Average Strand $7250

Strand Range $600 - $100,000

Tahitian Pearl

Second rarest pearl

Only natural black pearl

Peacock colored Tahitian pearls are rarer and therefore higher in value.

Average Single Pearl $200

Pearl Range $170 - $40,000

Average Strands $4000

Strand Range $350 - $50,000

Akoya Pearl

Third rarest pearl

Rarely produces more than two pearls per harvest.

Comes in white, blue-silver, and yellow.

Average Pearl $100

Pearl Range $8 - $2000

Average Strands $1475

Strand Range $300 - $25,000

Freshwater Pearls

The most common pearl

Can produce over 30 pearls in one mussel.

Comes in a wide range of colors such as pink, purple, champagne-peach, and white.

Average Pearl $50

Pearl Range $1 - $2000

Average Strands $400

Strand Range $50 - $40,000


More About Rare Pearl’s Values

If you’re looking for a bit more information on why these pearls are so valuable and their specific value factors, this upcoming information will be beneficial to you:

South Sea Pearl Value Factors

South Sea pearls are some of the rarest cultured pearls on the planet. Their size ranges from 8 mm to 20 mm, but their average size is usually 10 mm to 12mm.

When it comes to shape, they can be spherical (perfectly round and near-round), symmetrical (oval, button, drop), baroque, semi-baroque, and circled.

They can have fair, good, or excellent luster, and their surface can be clean or lightly spotted. Their nacre quality is graded as acceptable. In fact, South Sea pearls tend to have the thickest nacre of all!

South Sea pearls come in a variety of colors, ranging from the whitest white to lustrous gold. Their body color can be neutral to near-neutral, so they can be white, cream or silver, with yellow, or gold. Their overtone can be pink, green, silver blue, or red (gold pearls only).

Tahitian Peal Value Factors

Tahitian pearls are the second most valuable cultured pearls in the world, right after South Sea pearls. They range from 8 mm to 18 mm in size, but an average Tahitian pearl has a diameter of approximately 9 mm to 11 mm.

Just like South Sea pearls, Tahitian pearls can be spherical (perfectly round and near-round), symmetrical (oval, button, drop), baroque, semi-baroque, and circled.

Their luster can also be graded as fair, good, or excellent, and their surface can be clean, lightly spotted, moderately spotted, or heavily spotted. They also have acceptable nacre quality.

Tahitian pearls are known as “black pearls”, but they’re not actually fully black. They can have overtones of green, blue or purple. Their body color can be nearly black, grey, or brown, with a purple, yellowish green, or blue to green hue. There are over 70 recognized variations of color! These means every Tahitian black pearl is unique and special.

Akoya Pearl Value Factors

Akoya pearls are the third most valuable cultured pearls in the world. They range from 2 mm to 9.5 mm in size, and you can very rarely find an Akoya pearl with a diameter of 10 mm. The approximate sizes that you can commonly find range from 6 mm to 8 mm in diameter.

Akoya pearls can be spherical, that is, perfectly round or near-round, or they can be baroque and semi-baroque. They can have fair, good, or excellent luster, and their surface can be clean, lightly blemished, or moderately blemished.

Akoya pearls are usually white with a rose overtone, but they can also have a cream body color. Their hues can also be yellow, pink or blue, and they can have pink, green or pink and green overtone. Blue Akoya pearls with pink and silver overtones are extremely rare as are very yellow Akoya pearls which come with pink and green overtones.

Use these pearl rarity charts and value factors to choose the right type of pearls for you and be sure to check out our selection of these impressive cultured pearls. Select your favorite ones or contact us if you wish to have custom pearls designs made especially for you.