▪ Perhaps the best-loved gems of all time, pearls—natural and cultured—occur in a wide variety of colors. The most familiar colors are white and cream (a light yellowish brown). Natural pearls can be separated from cultured pearls by taking X-rays to reveal their inner structures.
▪ Pearl is the birthstone for June and the gem of the third and thirtieth anniversaries. It symbolizes modesty, chastity, and purity.
▪ An assessment of some characteristics determines the value of each type of pearl. They are luster, surface quality, shape and color of the pearl.
▪ Pearls with high luster have sharp bright reflections on the surface.
▪ The number of blemishes on a pearl’s surface is evaluated to judge quality.
▪ Spherical pearls are the most valued but symmetrical drops are also sought.
▪ Although white is most classic, appreciation has grown for more unusual natural colors.