The quality of pearls highly depends on the number of layers of nacre and gradation of its colours. Pearl lustre or the ability of a pearl to reflect light determines its value. A high-quality pearl will seem being illuminated from within, making it possible to see our own reflection.

Pearl lustre and its types

Pearls get its lustre because of its nacre, secreted by the mollusc in response to the irritant. Formation of the pearl begins after coating the irritant with a thousand coats. A high-quality pearl can be seen illuminated from within, making it possible to our own reflection whereas a low-quality pearl will have only low lustre dust with a chalky appearance. Pearl lustre can vary from low to medium, high and very high and can be differentiated easily.

Pearl surface quality

Pearl lustre can also be determined by its surface quality. They can be classified as follows –

  1. Clean – these are blemish free or have minute imperfections that can’t be seen with naked eyes. It is difficult to get these types of pearls in nature, hence are costlier.
  2. Lightly pigmented- just like the clean pearls, the spots here also are invisible to naked eyes but can be seen by trained pearl gardeners.
  3. Moderately spotted – blemishes in these types of pearls are comparatively more visible.
  4. Heavily spotted – these are the most pigmented pearls and have the least value. Click to find out more about the quality of your pearls.

Impact of pearl lustre on its value

There are five most discussed factors that influence the value of pearl out of which pearl lustre is given more weight. It is important to know that pearl with high lustre quality has a higher value.

Freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea are the four primary types of pearls of which freshwater is considered to have the lowest lustre. Akoya’s lustre is second to none and is immediately distinguishable. Moreover, Tahitian and South Sea have a nice level of lustre and can be easily distinguishable.

Though, lustre is an important aspect to determine the quality of pearl other factors have their contribution to the value of pearl too. However, if have an idea of what is in your hand, you can cherish your pearl for a lifetime.