Pearl Guide

Use this free guide to find the pearl that is right for you or that special someone.  At Adamas Goldsmiths we want you to make the best decision when you purchase your jewellery, so we want to help educate you on the quality and value of the pearls we have to offer.

Types and Varieties of Pearls

There are 2 types of pearls that are available in the world: cultured and natural.  Most of the pearls that are available for purchase in jewellery are known as cultured pearls.  What is a cultured pearl?  To put it simply, it is a pearl that is assisted by man in the creation process. Oysters are implanted with a tiny bead, and the oyster coats the bead over time in many layers of nacre (a coating of natural minerals and proteins).  Nacre gives pearls their beautiful lustre and colour.

Pearl Types

Adamas Goldsmiths offers a wide variety of freshwater pearls, which are typically better priced, and higher end saltwater pearls, such as Akoya, South Sea, and Tahitian. Our pearl jewellery is available in a variety of different styles including studs, fashion earrings, necklaces, pendants, rings and bracelets. We have many pearls in a wide variety of price ranges so that you can find the perfect pearl for your style and budget.

Colour & Lustre

Typical pearl colours are white, cream, yellow, pink, silver, or black. A pearl can also have a secondary hue, or overtone, which is seen when light reflects off the pearl's surface. For example, a pearl may appear white, but when closely examined, a pink overtone may become apparent.  The colour is affected by the deep shine or lustre.  The larger the pearl, the more lustre it will have.

Shapes & Surface Markings

At Adamas Goldsmiths we offer a wide variety of pearl shapes, but we also offer the rarest and highest quality pearl shape – round. Shapes that are not spherical or even symmetrical are considered lower quality. Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls found in jewellery have a tendency to be the roundest, while Freshwater pearls might be oval or slightly off-round.

Any flaws in the surface also lower the quality of the pearl. Flaws such as bubbling can appear in the pearl because of the layering process.  Pearls with a smooth surface are generally considered the highest quality and most desired.


The size of the pearl greatly depends on the type of pearl. Freshwater pearls range in size from about 3.0-7.0mm; Akoya pearls range from 6.0-8.5mm; South Sea and Tahitian pearls can be as large as 13mm.


When cared for properly, pearls can last a lifetime. The best way to care for pearls is to wear them often as the body's natural oils keep pearls lustrous. However, it's important to keep them away from household chemicals including perfume, makeup and hairspray. Chemicals found in these common products can dull the lustre of your pearls. It is recommended that you put your pearls on last when getting ready and make them the first thing you take off when you come home. Before putting your pearls away, wipe them with a soft cloth and store them separate from other jewellery to avoid scratching their tender surfaces.

For more information on pearls, call Adamas Goldsmiths at 780-482-4822.