Freshwater pearl rings can be a standout piece in your jewelry collection, but oftentimes elegant pearls can be associated with high price tags -- but they don’t have to be.
There are a few key things to consider in order to get freshwater pearl rings on a tight budget.
Determine Your Pearl Type
There are 4 main kinds of pearls and each has its pros and cons.
- Akoya Pearls
- Freshwater Pearls
- Tahitian Pearls
- White or Golden South Sea Pearls
Freshwater pearls are the best budget-friendly option to obtain freshwater pearl rings on a tight budget. They range from low to mid-range pricing tiers and rings on average can range from $200-$600.
There are some important Do’s and Don'ts to consider if you want to buy freshwater pearl rings without breaking the bank.
Do Research Pearl Grading and Understand Their Value Factors
There are 7 important factors that determine pearls grading and pricing. Understanding the basis of them will help you to understand a pearl’s value.
Luster- This can make or break pearls as a gemstone. It describes how the light reflects off of the pearl surface -- the sharper the luster the more valuable the pearl.
Surface Quality- Pearls with smooth, clean surfaces are more valuable than those with multiple inclusions.
Symmetry of Shape- Because pearls are organic, truly round pearls are the rarest shape of all and most valued. After perfectly round pearls, they seek symmetrical shapes like ovals and tear-drops, and after that free-form shapes that are totally asymmetrical.
Color- Pearls come in every color but the value factor is dependent on whether the color is naturally-occurring. Its depth and saturation are evaluated in addition to the rarity of the color.
Size- Large, perfectly symmetrical pearls are rare and take many years to form inside the oyster so if all of the other factors are equal in a pearl, the larger one will be more valuable.
Origin- A pearl can be cultured or natural. The natural pearls were formed without human assistance and are extremely rare so they will have premium prices to match.
Matching- The matching of a pearl necklace layout can take years because of the assessment of steady, smooth graduation rate from small to large pearls with little to no variation in terms of shape, color, luster, and surface quality.
Do Select a Vendor That Specializes in Pearls
Choosing the right pearl vendor for you is a careful balance of quality, price, pearl selection, and most importantly customer service.
Do Verify a Reasonable Return and Exchange Policy
As a part of great customer service, return and exchange policies are the most important if you are purchasing freshwater pearl rings online. You don’t want to end up with an unsatisfactory purchase from a random vendor with no means to return or exchange.
Don’t Purchase for Price Alone
If you’re in between two freshwater pearl rings, choose higher quality over the size of the pearl. You’ll find the smoother surface quality, higher luster, and overall prettier pearl will be the better value over a slightly bigger pearl.
Don’t Get Stuck on Brand Names
Some pearl vendors source pearls from the same farms as many of the big brand names. Brand names also come with overhead costs associated with the big box store names
Don’t Get Misled on Pearl Grades
There is still no set international grading scale for pearls -- that means that pearl grading is subjective and depends on the seller you are dealing with. Most vendors use an A-AAA grading scale as a simple and straightforward way to grade pearls based on luster rating, surface blemishes, color, and shape. This grading scale is mostly used with Freshwater and Akoya pearls. AAAA+ is not a real grade -- if you see a strange grade like this then buyer beware.
By utilizing some of these pearl tips, you can still purchase beautiful freshwater pearl rings for a reasonable price.