Frequently Asked Questions
Please add a little extra time to your order if you customize your product when you order online. If you change the metal color, ring size, pearl color, diamond color/quality, necklace length, clasp style and pearl size. American Pearl is an online company and its products are custom-made to meet your exact specifications. Because of this, when you place your order, we create your product from scratch to meet your exact customizations. This process takes time and your order can be made at any of a number of our facilities in the United States based on the exact piece and based on weather, COVID and potential delivery disruptions. Please place your order as early as possible to give yourself the utmost time for us to make your masterpiece! We have the best jewelers in the world and we promise you will be pleased with your products!
Can you offer us some background on the American Pearl Brand?
Sure, please watch this video to learn more about American Pearl.
How are pearls graded?
Please watch this instructional course to understand how America's most reputable retailers grade pearls.
Where is American Pearl located?
American Pearl is located in New York City in the heart of the diamond district.
What can you tell me to help me feel more comfortable with my purchase?
We wan't you to be happy with your pearl purchase. We encourage you to call the contacts under the references page. In addition, please read the testimonials.
Are cultured pearls artificially manufactured?
Absolutely not. Cultured pearls, like natural pearls, are grown within live oysters. Each begins when a skilled technician surgically implants a host oyster with a shell bead and piece of mantle tissue. To protect itself, the oyster secretes a crystalline substance, called "nacre," over the irritant. Over time, the nacre layers build on one another, creating a surface that glows with a luster unique to true pearls. Artificial, or imitation, pearls, on the other hand, do not involve oysters in any way, but are manufactured from various chemicals and compounds. Even so, be aware that some imitation pearls are sold as "organic." One popular technique for producing artificial pearls involves dipping a glass bead many times into a fish-scale-and-lacquer substance. While the shine of most artificial pearls is primarily surface reflection, a cultured pearl emanates a deep three-dimensional glow that appears to come from within the pearl itself.
Does sizing or customizing jewelry add to the delivery time of my piece?
Yes. If you order (a) a ring in a special custom size or with an engraving, (b) a special necklace or pendant length or (c) a different metal color, purity or gemstone color, please add 4 business days to your order's delivery time, so please calculate for this additional time when you place your order. Ring sizing is an art and is done by hand by a skilled craftsman. As we want you to have the best quality piece possible, we would never want to rush this process Rings that are engraved are only available for store credit.
What's the difference between cultured pearls and natural pearls?
Natural pearls form without human assistance -- when a foreign object, such as a parasite or piece of shell, accidentally lodges itself in an oyster's soft inner body where it cannot be expelled. This happens so rarely that, today, nearly all natural pearls one sees are in estate jewelry collections.
Software Glitches or Other Human Errors
Much of our content is automatically generated by computers and software. If there is a computer glitch or software error or other human error in the creation of invoices, appraisals or other digital or physical documents we will email you updates to correct them as soon as we learn about them. Errors do occur from time to time and we will do the right thing to update your invoices, appraisals or documents digitally or in physical form.
Why are pearls given two numbers to describe their size?
It's industry practice to measure cultured pearls in a necklace by range: 6 to 6 1/2 millimeters, or 7 to 7 1/2 millimeters, for example. This means that every pearl in the strand falls at or between the two sizes given. Note, however, that this practice does not apply to South Sea and Tahitian pearl necklaces, which are usually graduated in size.
Are white pearls the best?
When it comes to the color of pearls, white pearls are indeed the most valuable. Of course, there are two components which comprise the make of a pearl. They are the bodycolor and the overtone. The bodycolor of pearls with the most value are white. There is no mistaking this. These are the pearls that are found at finer jewelry stores such as Mikimoto or Tiffany & Co. Creamy pearls, according to the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) are worth 40% less than white pearls. Always, always insist on a pure white bodycolor pearl and be sceptical before purchasing pearls that are yellowish or creamy. The overtone of a pearl is the color that overlies the bodycolor and can be either silver or rose. A consumer, therefore should be shopping for one of two possible choices to insure optimum value: (1) A white bodycolor pearl with rose overtones or (2) A white bodycolor pearl with silver overtones.
May I leave my pearls in a safety deposit box for years?
Please don't. Pearls contain small traces of water, so it's unwise to leave them in such a dry environment over very long periods. The conditions may cause the pearls' moisture to evaporate and cause them to lose luster. Pearls worn frequently retain their moisture by absorbing it from the air or from the wearer's body.
How do Tahitian Pearls get their color?
Tahitian pearls, also known as black pearls, get their unique color from the type of oyster that produces them and the environmental conditions in which they are grown.
Tahitian pearls are grown in the Pinctada margaritifera oyster, which is found in the lagoons of French Polynesia, specifically in the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, and the Tuamotus. This type of oyster is unique because it has a dark, black-gray colored mantle, and it produces pearls with a similar color.
The color of Tahitian pearls is caused by a combination of factors, including the color of the oyster's mantle, the presence of other pigments in the pearl, and the thickness of the pearl's nacre. The color of Tahitian pearls can range from light gray to black, with various shades of green, blue, purple, and silver.
Tahitian pearls are also known for their high luster, which is the result of the thick layers of nacre that the oyster produces. The thicker the nacre, the more iridescent the pearl will be.
In summary, Tahitian pearls get their unique color from the dark-colored mantle of the Pinctada margaritifera oyster, which produces pearls in shades of gray, black, green, blue, purple, and silver. The thickness of the nacre also contributes to the pearls' high luster.
For restringing and and restringing the Add Pearls program, please allow us at least four weeks to complete a request. We do not accept rushes. You must order your pearl, receive it, combine it with your necklace and ship it back to us with a special label generated by American Pearl for insurance purposes. Add Pearls are custom necklaces strung on double stranded silk thread and are handmade. Please do not send any Add Pearls or Restringing to us during Oct 25 and January 9 of any given year as this is the holiday rush where most shipping networks have slowed down.
Can you wear pearls in water?
Pearls are delicate and can be sensitive to water, so it is generally not recommended to wear them in water.
Pearls are composed of a mineral called calcium carbonate, which can be dissolved by exposure to water that has a high pH level or is high in chlorine. This can cause the pearls to lose their luster, discolor, or become damaged.
Also, pearls are porous, which means that they can absorb water and other liquids. If pearls are exposed to water, they can become waterlogged, which can cause them to become heavy and can damage the string they are strung on.
Additionally, pearls can be damaged by exposure to sunlight, heat, and other environmental factors, so it is not recommended to wear them while swimming or taking a shower, especially in a pool or hot tub.
It's best to remove pearl jewelry before engaging in activities that involve water, such as swimming, showering, or doing dishes. If you need to clean your pearls, it's best to use a damp cloth and mild soap to clean them and dry them thoroughly afterwards.
In summary, pearls are delicate and should be protected from water and other environmental factors. It is not recommended to wear them in water to avoid any damage to the pearls.
What is the best way to store pearls?
Proper storage is essential to maintaining the beauty and integrity of pearls. Here are some best practices for storing pearls:
Keep them in a cool and dry place: Pearls should be kept away from heat, humidity, and direct sunlight, as these can cause the pearls to dry out and lose their luster.
Use a pearl box or pouch: Pearls should be stored in a soft pouch or box made of a non-abrasive material, such as velvet or silk. This will help protect the pearls from scratches and other types of damage.
Keep them separate: Pearls should be stored separately from other jewelry to prevent them from getting scratched or damaged.
Avoid chemicals: Pearls are sensitive to chemicals, such as perfumes, hairspray, and cosmetics, so they should be stored away from these types of products.
Clean them before storing: Pearls should be cleaned and inspected before they are stored. This will remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on the pearls and ensure that they are in good condition.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your pearls will remain beautiful and in good condition for many years to come.
Pearls are so old-fashioned
Not so. Fashion magazines have recently featured cultured pearls as one of the top accessories complimenting today's styles.
How Are Pearls Restrung?
Restringing pearls is a process that involves threading the pearls onto a new string or cord. This is necessary to maintain the integrity of the pearls and to ensure that they remain secure and safe.
The process of restringing pearls begins with the removal of the pearls from the old string or cord. This is usually done by gently pulling the pearls off the string, or by carefully cutting the string to release the pearls.
Once the pearls have been cleaned and inspected, they are then threaded onto a new string or cord. This is typically done with a silk thread, which is strong, flexible, and won't damage the pearls. The pearls are strung one by one, and then knot is tied between each pearl to keep it from rubbing against other pearls which will cause damage.
Finally, the new string of pearls is secured with a clasp or a knot at the end. Some pearls are restrung with a safety chain, which is used to prevent the pearls from falling off if the string breaks.
How do I care for my cultured pearls?
Because cultured pearls are relatively soft compared to other gemstones and precious metals, it's important to take special care of them to ensure they remain bright and beautiful for generations to come. Cosmetics, perfumes and hair sprays all contain chemicals that can dull the luster of pearls if exposed over extended periods of time. Acids in body oils and perspiration can damage pearls' lustre in the same way. So, we suggest wearing your pearls after applying makeup, perfume and hair spray, and then wipe their pearls afterward with a soft damp cloth to remove any harmful build-ups. Occasional washing with a mild soap is also recommended. Also, pearls should always be separated from hard jewelry items, whether metals or other gemstones, to prevent them from being scratched. It's best to keep pearls in a soft cloth pouch or a separately lined jewelry box. If you plan to wear your pearls several times a week, we recommend that you return for restringing once a year to avoid breakage. The strand must be knotted between each pearl, both to prevent the pearls from rubbing against each other, and to save them from all falling should a break occur. With proper attention and handling pearls will last for generations. But if continuously exposed to harmful products -- such as cosmetics or abrasive detergents -- pearls' luster can diminish. For this reason, light cleaning with a soft, damp cloth after each wearing is recommended, along with periodic deep cleaning by a professional jeweler.
How long will it take to make my order?
Most of the items on our website are made to order, and require individual jewelry work by hand. Earrings, pendants, and rings must be cast and polished before any stones or pearls are set, and necklaces and bracelets are strung to order. Production time on each will vary, but generally will take 1-3 business days. Custom requests require additional production time.
How much is shipping?
We offer free shipping via Fedex Air or FedEx Ground for all shipments within the United States. You may also upgrade to Priority Overnight shipping via the drop down menu on the order page for an additional fee of $25. Saturday Delivery is also available for $50. All shipments outside of the US must select the International Shipping option at checkout, which is a fee of $50.
How long does FedEx Shipping Take?
Once we ship, delivery using Fedex is usually 2 to 3 days. This does not include processing time for customizaions. Delivery may be made from other locations than our main office for security or speed. Delivery time will vary by location.
Do I need to be home to accept the package?
We require packages over $250 to be signed for. If you would like to waive the signature requirement, you may do so via the comment field.
How can I check my order status?
There is a link in your email receipt that will take you to Yahoo Store, where it can confirm whether your order has been shipped or not. As soon as we are ready to ship your order we will input the tracking information. Additionally, you may contact our offices for your order status, please have your five digit order number ready.
Do all orders come with appraisals?
No, but we are happy to supply them upon request.
Can you appraise pearls that were not purchased at American Pearl?
No, we can only supply paperwork for pearls that we have sold.
Do you buy pearls?
No. We are a retail location only.
Do you offer re-stringing for pearls that were not purchased at American Pearl?
Yes, our restringing service is available for any pearl strand for $3 per inch
What is your return policy?
We offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all stock items. We want you to be happy with your purchase from American Pearl and will gladly assist you with any length or size adjustments necessary. If you wish to return or exchange an item, please please ship it back to American Pearl filling out the online form under Customer Service. For returns, please include all original packaging. An order placed after multiple returns may be subject to a restocking fee.
How long will it take to receive my refund?
We will notify you via email when we have received your return package. All refunds have to be authorized by a manager, and will be issued within 3-5 days of receiving. Once a credit has been issued, it takes an additional 3-5 business days for your banking institution to apply the funds.
All American Pearl jewelry is hand crafted by the finest jewelers in the world. In making our jewelry for you we often have to select pearls and insure they are the best fit, color and luster they can be for the given piece. In order to do this we reserve the right to a 3% variation in the pearl size specified online. For example, a 14.5mm pearl earring pair could be 14.065mm.
Loose GIA Certified diamonds shown online are sometimes not available. We do our best to secure the diamonds you order but we depend on our partners for availability.
In making necklaces longer than shown (as their default) by adding inches as a customization we often have to select additional matching pearls and insure they are the best fit, color and luster they can be. In order to do this we reserve the right to a 5% variation in the size specified online for the additional pearls to insure a proper match.
What are Cultured Pearls?
Cultured pearls are pearls that are created using a process of pearl cultivation, rather than being found naturally in the wild. The process of creating cultured pearls involves introducing a small piece of tissue, called a "nucleus," into the mollusk, which then secretes layers of a substance called "nacre" around the nucleus. Over time, these layers of nacre build up to form a pearl.
Cultured pearls can be produced in both freshwater and saltwater environments, and the most common types of mollusks used to produce cultured pearls are oysters and mussels. The process of pearl cultivation can be done in two ways: bead nucleation or tissue nucleation.
Bead nucleation is the most common method where a small bead made of mother of pearl is inserted into the mollusk along with a small piece of tissue from the mantle. The mollusk will then secrete nacre around the bead and tissue, forming a pearl.
Tissue nucleation is a more recent method, where a small piece of mantle tissue from a donor mollusk is inserted into the host mollusk. The host mollusk will then secrete nacre around this tissue, forming a pearl.
Cultured pearls are generally less expensive than natural pearls, but they have similar physical characteristics and can be just as beautiful. They are widely available and are used in a variety of jewelry.
What is the difference between Akoya Pearls and Freshwater Pearls?
Akoya pearls are a type of saltwater pearl that are grown in the Pinctada Fucata oyster, which is found in the coastal waters of mainly Japan and sometimes but rarely China. They are known for their high luster, round shape, and white or cream color. They are considered the classic pearl and are the oldest cultivated pearls.
Freshwater pearls, on the other hand, are grown in freshwater mussels, which can be found in rivers, lakes, and ponds in different parts of the world, such as China, the United States, and Europe. They come in a wider range of colors, shapes, and sizes compared to Akoya pearls. They also can have a lower luster than Akoya pearls but often have a softer, more subtle iridescence.
Another difference is the size of the pearls, Akoya pearls usually range in size from 2mm to 10mm, while freshwater pearls can be as small as 2mm and as large as 20mm.
In terms of price, Akoya pearls are generally more expensive than freshwater pearls due to their round shape, high luster, and the fact that they are less abundant.
In summary, Akoya pearls are saltwater pearls grown in Japan and China, known for their high luster, round shape, and white or cream color, while freshwater pearls are grown in freshwater mussels, come in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes, and have a lower luster but a softer, more subtle iridescence.
Akoya pearls and South Sea pearls are both types of cultured pearls, but there are several key differences between them.
Akoya pearls are a type of saltwater pearl that are grown in the Pinctada fucata oyster, which is found in the coastal waters of Japan and China. They are known for their high luster, round shape, and white or cream color. They are considered the classic pearl and are the oldest cultivated pearls.
What is the Difference Between Akoya Pearls and South Sea Pearls?
South Sea pearls, on the other hand, are grown in the Pinctada Maxima oyster, which is found in the coastal waters of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are known for their large size, high luster, and white, gold, or silver color. They are considered to be the most valuable pearls in the world in the larger sizes.
Another difference is the size of the pearls, Akoya pearls usually range in size from 2mm to 10mm, while South Sea pearls can be as small as 8mm and as large as 20mm. They are also known for their thick nacre, which gives them a high luster and makes them very durable.
In terms of price, South Sea pearls are generally more expensive than Akoya pearls due to their large size, high luster, and rarity.
In summary, Akoya pearls are saltwater pearls grown mainly in Japan, known for their high luster, round shape, and white or cream color, while South Sea pearls are grown in the Pinctada Maxima oyster in the coastal waters of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, known for their large size, high luster, and white, gold, or silver color, and are considered to be the most valuable pearls in the world.
Reports and Evaluations
Our reports are not a guarantee, valuation or appraisal, and we do not make any representation or warranty regarding our reports for the items within them. They are simply a means to help you understand and evaluate the items. Our items are viewed and graded in house, evaluated, and analyzed using grading systems at the time of the evaluation. Our reports on any item may be different based on circumstances such as who examined an item or the method used or human error. In that way the results may differ or may be subject to human error.
American Pearl and its employees shall not be liable for loss or damage or any expense from any error that may result in an omission within a report or because it issued a report with errors or inaccuracies. Our company and its employees and/or agents shall not be liable for special, indirect or direct, exemplary or incidental or consequential damages including any lost profit, property as a result of any error or omissions in a report. Many of the items in our reports are gems that are not perfect and therefore the grading of them can vary and are subject to opinion. If you feel you received an item that did not match the purchased grade, we reserve the right to refund you and have the merchandise returned. Or we reserve the right to ship you another item that better matches the intended item you purchased.
What is the difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls?
The main difference between natural pearls and cultured pearls is how they are formed.
Natural pearls are formed when a small foreign object, such as a grain of sand, enters the mollusk and irritates the tissue inside. The mollusk then secretes a substance called nacre around the irritant, which eventually builds up to form a pearl. Natural pearls are found in the wild and are considered rare and valuable.
Cultured pearls, on the other hand, are formed through human intervention. A small piece of tissue, called a nucleus, is inserted into the mollusk, and the mollusk then secretes nacre around the nucleus, forming a pearl. Cultured pearls are formed in a controlled environment and are more widely available and less expensive than natural pearls.
Another difference is the size and quality of pearls, natural pearls are usually smaller and have imperfections or blemishes, while cultured pearls are usually larger and have fewer imperfections.
Also, natural pearls are formed in different species of mollusk, while cultured pearls are mostly formed in two types of mollusk: saltwater oysters and freshwater mussels.
In summary, natural pearls are formed by chance in the wild, while cultured pearls are formed through human intervention in a controlled environment. Natural pearls are rarer and more valuable than cultured pearls, but both can be beautiful and used in jewelry.
Products and merchandise enlarged to show details and may not always be exactly as shown in the picture. Orders placed online may not be able to be fulfilled based on inventory and product availability. If this happens, you will be notified by email. Coupons are not eligible on the products shown at the Diamond link of our website or custom products or custom designed products from our Jewelry Replicator. Design styles may change slightly due to polishing, casting or availability. We reserve the right to make these changes. If you are not satisfied your can return for a full refund.
What is included with the gift wrap option?
All American Pearl jewelry is sent in high quality double boxed packaging, suitable for gifting. Paper wrap is not used, and an order slip will be included unless requested otherwise.
Sometime we run out of the figure 8 clasp and may substitute for the X clasp based on availability. American Pearl's clasps are only available for purchase with an American Pearl necklace at the time of purchase.
Gold Metal Purity
In the event you place a time sensitive order in a given metal purity such as 18K and we cannot produce it in time, we reserve the right to deliver 14K as a substitute to meet the delivery schedule of the order and credit your account the difference in price. Of course, you can always have your item sent back to be replaced in 18K after it has been gifted.
Gold Metal Weight
Metal weights shown on products may change based on ring sizing, chain lengths and general metal loss due to polishing or the art of jewelry making. Weights are an approximation.
Where is Gold Mined
Gold is mined in many locations around the world. Some of the most significant gold-producing countries include Australia, the United States, Canada, and Africa. Gold can also be found in smaller quantities in other countries such as Peru, Indonesia, and Chile.
Gold deposits can be found in different forms, including veins of gold ore in rock, alluvial deposits (riverbeds and streambeds), and as gold particles in soil. It can also be found in association with other minerals such as copper and lead. Many gold mines are underground operations, but some are open-pit mines, and some are a combination of both.
How are Pearl Rings Resized?
Resizing a ring involves changing the size of the ring band so that it fits the finger properly. There are two main ways to resize a ring: making it smaller or making it larger.
To make a ring smaller, a jeweler will cut a small section of the band and then solder the two ends back together. This is a delicate process that requires skill and precision to ensure that the ring is the proper size and that the solder lines are not visible.
To make a ring larger, our jewelers will add a small section of metal to the band, either by soldering on a piece of metal or by adding a piece of metal to the inside of the band. In some cases, our jeweler might stretch the ring slightly to increase its size. This process is also a delicate one and requires skill and precision to ensure that the ring is properly sized and that the added metal is not visible.
American Pearl Cuts & Polishes Your Gemstones
For many of the jewelry pieces you see on American Pearl, we cut and polish the gemstones for you. Gemstones are cut and polished in a process called lapidary. The process begins with the rough gemstone, which is a piece of mineral that has been mined from the earth. The first step in the cutting process is to assess the rough stone and determine the best way to cut it to maximize its beauty and value.
Next, the gem cutter will use a saw to cut the rough stone into a more manageable size and shape. This is usually done with a diamond-tipped saw blade. After the rough stone has been cut to size, it is then shaped into a rough cabochon or a rough faceted stone depending on the intended final shape of the gemstone.
Then the next step is to create a design or pattern on the stone using a hammer and chisel, or a rotating wheel called a dop stick. This step is called "bruting" or "girdling" and is used to create the basic shape of the gemstone.
Finally, the gemstone is polished using a series of progressively finer diamond abrasives. This will bring out the luster and brilliance of the gemstone, and it is considered finished.
Some gemstones are cut using a different technique called faceting, which creates a symmetrical shape with many small, flat surfaces or facets. This technique is usually used for transparent gemstones and can enhance the color and brilliance of the stone.
We do our utmost to insure that the item you order is in stock and available. But please understand that we offer millions of products and choices and that sometimes items shown are not available.
Pricing on third party sites may be off due to unknown technical issues. Please refer to our website for the most up to date prices. Of course, if this happens we will do everything we can to update our prices on these third party sites as quickly as possible.
Orders placed with Affirm are subject to a 15% restocking fee.