A pearl is a smooth lustrous round structure inside the shell of a clam or oyster, much valued as a jewel. Ever since the ancient Egyptians started creating pearl jewellery, pearls have become one of the highest regarded gemstone. Even today pearl still hold their value due to its rare availability. Today most pearls are cultured pearls as the natural pearls are very rare and difficult to find.
Following are the qualities that define a fine pearl.
Generally pearls colours are white, cream, yellow, pink, silver or black. A pearl can also have a secondary colour of overtone, which is seen when light gets reflected off the pearl surface.
The most sought-after pearl shape is Round, which is the rarest pearl shape and enjoys highest quality among all pearl shape. Tahitian and Southsea pearl found in jewellery have a tendency to be the roundest while Freshwater pearls can be oval or slightly off round.
The size of the pearl depends on different types of the pearl. Freshwater pearls range in size from 3 mm to 7 mm. South Sea and Tahitian can be as large as 13 mm in size.