A Brief History of Pearls: Quality Factor One: Luster

  A brief history of pearls


When experts evaluate pearls, luster is the most important quality. It refers to two things: its brilliance, which is the way its surface reflects light, and its inner glow, which is the way it refracts light.

The Pearl Luster Scale

Typically, experts evaluate a pearl's luster on a scale that ranges between high and low.

Pearls with a high luster are bright and have a deep glow. High-luster pearls can reflect nearby objects clearly, and most - but not all - have a thick nacre coating. However, thick nacre doesn't guarantee a high-luster pearl; that's because some oysters have genetic imperfections that don't allow them to secrete nacre in perfect patterns.

Pearls with low luster may appear dull, chalky or too white. Usually, pearls with low luster have thin nacre.

Dividing pearls by quality factors, including luster, is not an easy task. In fact, pearls are first sorted into broad categories to make the sorting process easier. Each time a pearl goes through the sorting process, it is further classified until it is properly classified.

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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