how much are real pearl necklaces worth

You've seen them worn by royalty, celebrities, and even your own friends and family. The timeless elegance of a real pearl necklace is undeniable, but have you ever wondered how much they're worth? The value of these exquisite pieces can vary widely, depending on factors like pearl type, size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, and nacre quality. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into the world of pearls and give you a clear understanding of how much real pearl necklaces are worth, along with tips on buying and caring for your own precious strand.

Factors that Influence the Value of Pearl Necklaces

Pearl Type

There are four main types of pearls used in necklaces: Freshwater, Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls. Each type has its own unique characteristics and price range, which we'll explore in more detail later on.

Pearl Size

Size matters when it comes to the value of pearl necklaces. Larger pearls generally command higher prices, as they are more difficult to cultivate and rarer in nature. Smaller pearls, on the other hand, are more common and therefore more affordable. When shopping for a pearl necklace, consider the size that best suits your style and budget.

Pearl Shape

While perfectly round pearls are considered the most valuable, other shapes like teardrop, oval, and baroque can also be quite beautiful and unique. Round pearls are more difficult to produce and therefore more expensive, but the appeal of a non-round pearl necklace lies in its individuality and character.

Pearl Color

Pearls come in a variety of colors, including white, cream, gold, silver, pink, lavender, and black. The value of a pearl necklace can be influenced by its color, with some hues being rarer and more sought-after than others. For example, golden South Sea pearls and black Tahitian pearls are highly prized for their rarity and rich colors.

Pearl Luster

One of the most important factors in determining the value of a pearl necklace is its luster, or the way it reflects light. High-quality pearls have a deep, mirror-like luster that gives them a beautiful glow. Pearls with a dull or chalky appearance are significantly less valuable.

Surface Quality

Like all gemstones, pearls can have imperfections. The fewer blemishes, spots, and irregularities a pearl has, the more valuable it is.

Nacre Quality

Nacre is the iridescent substance that forms the layers of a pearl. The thicker the nacre, the more durable and valuable the pearl. High-quality pearls have a thick layer of nacre that gives them a deep, radiant luster.

How Much Are Real Pearl Necklaces Worth?

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are the most popular option for pearl necklaces, with prices ranging from $60 to $5,000 or more, depending on the pearl quality. They come in a wide variety of shapes and colors, making them an excellent choice for those who want to own a beautiful pearl necklace without breaking the bank.

Akoya Pearls

Akoya pearls are known for their perfectly round shape and lustrous shine, making them a popular choice for pearl necklaces. Prices for Akoya pearl necklaces can range from $300 to $10,000, depending on factors like size, quality, and the presence of a designer brand.

Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian pearls are famous for their striking black color and exotic allure. These unique pearls can be quite pricey, with necklaces ranging from $500 to $25,000. The value of a Tahitian pearl necklace is influenced by factors like size, color, and surface quality.

South Sea Pearls

South Sea pearls are the largest and most valuable of all pearl types, with prices for necklaces ranging from $1,000 to over $100,000. Their rich golden and silver hues, combined with their impressive size, make them highly sought-after by collectors and jewelry enthusiasts alike.

Tips for Buying a Pearl Necklace

  1. Educate yourself on the different types of pearls, their characteristics, and price ranges. This will help you make an informed decision when shopping for a pearl necklace.

  2. Examine the pearls closely for factors like luster, surface quality, and nacre thickness. A high-quality pearl necklace should have a deep, radiant luster and minimal surface imperfections.

  3. Determine your budget before shopping, and consider factors like pearl type, size, and shape to find a necklace that suits your style and price range.

  4. Shop at reputable jewelry stores or online retailers with a solid return policy and customer reviews. This will help ensure that you're purchasing a genuine pearl necklace and not a counterfeit or low-quality product.

The Timeless Elegance of Pearl Necklaces

From Cleopatra's legendary pearl banquet to Audrey Hepburn's iconic role in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," pearl necklaces have graced the necks of powerful and glamorous women throughout history. Today, they continue to captivate and enchant, making them an essential addition to any jewelry collection.


Understanding how much real pearl necklaces are worth, and the factors that influence their value, is key to making an informed purchase. By considering pearl type, size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, and nacre quality, you can find a beautiful and valuable pearl necklace that suits your style and budget. And with proper care, your pearls will remain a treasured keepsake for years to come.