Tahitian Pearl Luster

  A brief history of pearls


Luster is a measure of the way light plays on a pearl. It refers to the way it reflects and retracts light, and the most valuable pearls have high luster.

The Jeweler's Task: Describe a Tahitian Pearl

In order to describe a Tahitian pearl, a jeweler must first evaluate its luster. This is one of the most important quality factors in these pearls. Luster is graded on a scale of poor to excellent.

  • Poor luster: A pearl with poor luster reflects light in a dim, diffused way.
  • Fair luster: A pearl with fair luster has a weak, hazy or blurred reflection that is better than one with poor luster.
  • Good luster: A pearl featuring a good luster has a bright reflection. However, the reflections look slightly hazy.
  • Excellent luster: A pearl that has an excellent luster creates bright and distinct reflections.

How to Describe a Pearl's Orient

A pearl's orient refers to the iridescent colorplay that takes place on or below the nacre's surface. Not all pearls have orient; it's typically only seen in pearls with thick, well-formed nacre.

As you turn a pearl in your hands, its orient becomes apparent. This is particularly observable in Tahitian pearls, because their beautiful colors can be reflected in myriad ways through the surface of the nacre.

How pearls form in oysters
How pearls are harvested
How pearls brought to market
Know your Akoya pearls
Akoya Pearl Cultivation
Akoya Pearl Harvesting
Akoya Pearl Processing
Akoya Pearl Evaluation
Quality Factor One: Luster
Luster of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Two: Surface
Surface of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Three: Shape
Shape of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Four: Color
Color of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Five: Size
Size of Akoya Pearls
Know your South Sea pearls
South Sea Pearl Cultivation
South Sea Pearl Harvesting
South Sea Pearl Processing
South Sea Pearl Quality Evaluation
Luster of South Sea Pearls
Surface of South Sea Pearls
Shape of South Sea Pearls
Color of South Sea Pearls
Size of South Sea Pearls
Know your Tahitian pearls
Tahitian Pearl Cultivation
Tahitian Pearl Harvesting
Tahitian Pearl Processing
Tahitian Pearl Quality Evaluation
Luster of Tahitian Pearls
Surface of Tahitian Pearls
Shape of Tahitian Pearls
Color of Tahitian Pearls
Size of Tahitian Pearls
Gift Giving Occasions

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