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Pearl Price factors
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Akoya pearls with thin nacre
Often round
Akoya pearls with thick nacre
Frequently off-round, but round ones are available too. Baroque Akoya pearl strands are considered low quality.
South Sea cultured
Rarely perfectly round. The larger the pearl, the more it will tend to deviate from round. Baroques are often regarded as a good alternative to the more expensive symmetrical shapes when one's budget is limited.
Natural saltwater
Usually baroque or semi-baroque. Round ones are extremely rare.
Freshwater, cultured & natural
Frequently baroque, especially if they are natural. Baroque freshwater pearls are considered desirable.Cultured off-round freshwater pearls are also readily available. They are normally much more affordable than saltwater pearls of similar quality and size.
desirable. Lopsided pearls can be interesting, but they are considered less valuable than those which are symmetrical.

Even though dealers agree round is the most expensive shape, there is no standardized system for determining how shape affects pearl prices. As previously mentioned, the way pearls are discounted for shape
variation can differ from one dealer to another. Don't let this lack of standardization lead you to ignore pearl shape as a value factor. Consider it important, and keep in mind when judging pearl prices that it's best to compare pearls of the same shape as well as the same size, color, type and luster.
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