Pearl Sizes

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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When purchasing pearl jewelry, you'll want to take the size of the pearls into account. On the one hand, the larger the pearl, the more nacre it has. The more nacre it has, the more lustrous it will be. Nacre is the organic substance which grows in layers around the pearl's nucleus. In nature, this nucleus might be a tiny bit of seashell, or a pebble.

In pearl farms, the nucleus is a tiny bead. Layers of nacre, or calcium carbonate crystals, form around this bead. The more nacre, the larger the pearl, and the more luster it has. A pearl's luster is its glow. Since the soft sheen and deep, mysterious glow of luster is what makes a pearl beautiful, the more luster, the better.

Why Pearl Sizes Vary

The size of the pearl varies according to many factors. One of the most important factors is the type of pearl. There are many varieties of pearl, which come from a number of different locations. These include Tahiti, China, Japan, Australia, and so on.

A saltwater pearl, such as an Akoya, can grow up to about 8.5mm. It will normally range from a smallish 5mm to a substantial 8.5mm. A Tahitian pearl can grow much larger than this. In fact, a Tahitian pearl can grow up to 13mm. One of the most strikingly glamorous ways to wear pearls is to wear a single, 13mm black pearl as a pendant, dangling from a thin chain.


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