Are Old Pearls Worth Anything?
If you have pearls, you know they’re a beautiful and timeless piece of jewelry. They’re also a valuable heirloom that you can pass down to future generations. However, are old pearls worth anything?
They might not be worth much, especially if they’re worn and faded. They’re not a valuable investment like gold, platinum or silver pieces. They might not be of the highest quality, either.
A lot of old pearls end up as fakes or imitations. It’s important to know the difference so you can sell them for their value and avoid spending money on something that isn’t worth it.
Fake pearls are made of glass, ceramic or shell and they use paint to create a pearl-like luster and false iridescence. This makes them look real and can be used for costume jewelry or for a less expensive alternative to natural pearls.
The rumor that fake pearls will burn in an open flame is not true, but they can be damaged by fire in some way. If you hold the pearls in a flame for a few seconds, they might get blemishes or deformed drill holes that make it difficult to see the luster underneath.
It’s also possible for a pearl to turn yellow over time. This can happen with both natural and cultured pearls. If your pearls are turning yellow, you can try a few simple steps to revive their shine and luster.
Lusterquality is another important factor that determines the value of a pearl. The higher the luster, the more desirable it is.
Surfacequality is a less common factor but it’s one that can be very important in determining a pearl’s value. The more smooth and flawless the surface of a pearl is, the more it will be worth.
A reputable jeweler or gemologist can test a pearl’s luster for you to find out its actual luster quality. These experts can use special tools and techniques to see the luster of a pearl and tell if it is genuine.
They can also help you identify the type of pearl. Some types of pearls, such as Akoya and Tahitian pearls, are more valued for their luster than others.
Some other important factors that can determine a pearl’s value are its shape, size and color. These can vary greatly depending on where the pearl was sourced from and how long ago it was produced.
These factors are all governed by the law of supply and demand, which is how much the market will pay for certain types of pearls at any given time. If there aren’t enough supplies of high-quality pearls in a particular color, their value can go up dramatically.
It’s a good idea to get an appraisal before selling your pearls, but it can be a little costly. You’ll need to hire a GIA-certified appraiser who specializes in pearls and/or antique jewelry to assess the value of your piece.