¿Which are the main five virtues of a South Sea Pearl?
The magic of a pearl lies in its luster. Though difficult to illustrate, lustre is the most important characteristic of pearl quality that is instantly recognizable.
A pearl with a flawless surface is exceptionally rare. Pearl quality is influenced by the number and size of imperfections and their degree of visibility. Clearly noticeable imperfections will significantly compromise a pearl's allure and value
A pearl's shape does not affect its quality; the demand for a particular shape, however, does have a bearing on value. Pearls of perfect symmetry such as round and tear-drop shapes are particularly rare and desirable. Ultimately, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and selection of shape is a personal choice.
The wide array of natural colors of South Sea pearls typically mirror the overtones of the pearl shell inside. Colour, like shape, is a very personal choice and the popularity of a particular hue influences a pearl's value. Australian South Sea pearls are typically white, silver, cream or gold. White with pink overtones is the most prized color.
South Sea pearls have very thick pearl nacre and are the largest of all pearls, typically ranging from 11mm to 16mm. Larger sizes exceeding 20mm are occasionally found and such pearls are highly prized. Larger pearls are typically more valuable due to their greater rarity but the size is only one of the 5 Virtues used to consider a pearl's value. Pearls are measured in millimeters by width.