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Do Pearls Appreciate in Value?

  • 5 min read

Do Pearls Appreciate in Value?

Pearls have long been revered for their lustrous beauty and timeless elegance. A classic pearl design like our white single-strand freshwater pearl necklace looks just as chic when worn with a crisp work shirt as it does draped over a crew-neck for brunch.

Long favoured by designers and jewellery enthusiasts alike, the popularity of pearl jewellery looks set to continue for years to come. 

But do pearls appreciate in value? And what pearls make for great investments? Read on to find out more.

What factors impact a pearl’s value?

There are a range of factors that will impact a pearl’s initial value, which can in turn determine whether that pearl will appreciate in value over the years.

One of the main dynamics which determine a pearl’s initial value include the gem’s size, shape, colour, lustre, surface quality, and origin. Another major factor which impacts the overall value of a pearl is market trends. Changing consumer preferences dictate the popularity, and therefore the value of pearls.

The reputation and branding of pearl producers (including the cultivation technique) and retailers will also determine whether or not a pearl appreciates in value.

The most important factor to determine the long-term value of a pearl is the level of care that the pearl has enjoyed during its life as jewellery. If pearls are kept moist with skin contact, stored in unbleached silk, chamois leather or unbleached cotton, and kept away from acids like alcohol-based perfume, fake tanning products or chlorinated water, the pearls lustre will be kept the same, or even improved.

If you are looking to sell a piece of pearl jewellery, having the original clasp, box, and papers to establish its provenance will help – particularly if you’re in possession of a highly sought after, rare design from a particular brand.

How does pearl cultivation affect pearl appreciation?

There are two different types of pearl – natural and cultured.

Cultured pearls are deliberately cultivated. A bead nucleus is introduced into a pearl producing oyster mainly from the Pinctada family. Epithelial cells will then build multiple microscopic layers of nacre around the bead nucleus, ultimately forming a pearl.

Natural pearls are formed accidentally, without any human intervention. They are therefore exceptionally rare and are usually higher in value than cultured pearls.

With that said, other factors – such as size, shape, and colour – can result in a cultured pearl’s higher valuation than a natural pearl!

What types of pearl are likely to appreciate in value?

As we’ve detailed, there are a number of variables that affect the value dynamics of pearl jewellery. With that said, there are three main types of cultured pearl that typically makes for fine pearl jewellery.

South Sea pearls

South Sea pearls are exquisite saltwater gems. Prized for their exceptional lustre, South Sea pearls come in tones including white, silver, and gold, depending on the colour of the mollusc that produces them. Almost perfectly spherical, the oyster that produces these pearls produces only one in its lifetime. South Sea pearls are unique, iridescent, and bring sophistication to any outfit.

A bold design like our coral reef-inspired golden South Sea baroque pearl and citrine ‘coco coral’ necklace would ideally complement a strapless evening gown and sleek low bun. Wear alone or with matching white or gold pearl stud earrings.

Alternatively, choose a South Sea design for your bridal pearl jewellery set. Choose our white South Sea pearl and diamond accent ‘tsarina’ pendant for your special day, paired with matching South Sea pearl ‘tsarina’ drop or stud earrings.

Tahitian pearls

As the only naturally black pearls, Tahitian pearl jewellery comes in overtones including silver, green, purple, and blue. The multi-tone lustre of Tahitian pearls blends seamlessly from day to night, illuminating your natural beauty with a quiet radiance.

Atmospheric and elegant, a Tahitian pearl design like our Tahitian pearl and diamond huggies elevates eveningwear. Fortify yourself for a significant work event by wearing our black Tahitian pearl ‘moon’ diamond and tourmaline earrings with matching pendant.

Pair neckwear like our black Tahitian pearl and rainbow moonstone necklace with a matching design like our Tahitian pearl and moonstone bracelet or blue Tahitian pearl, diamond, and moonstone earrings for a seaside wedding.

Akoya pearls

Originating in Japan, Akoya pearls dominated the market for much of the twentieth century until competition from China, Tahiti, and the Philippines began to challenge the gem.

Akoya pearl jewellery still remains highly sought-after, prized for its rich hues, appealing lustre, and spherical shape.

Understated yet elegant, the sophistication of a design like our akoya pearl necklace appeals time and again. Akoya pearls are particularly celebrated for their ability to illuminate the wearer’s natural beauty, so you’re choosing a design that holds high financial value whilst enhancing your facial features.

Choose a one-of-a-kind design like our black Akoya pearl and spinel necklace to bring out your distinct character, and wear with matching black pearl earrings for double impact. Alternatively, choose a timeless design like our white akoya pearl stud earrings on yellow gold as a perennial favourite.

Do pearls appreciate in value?

The pearl market is fairly stable. As such, pearls typically don’t appreciate in value as dramatically as other gems. With that said, they also don’t depreciate in value, and are therefore a relatively stable investment option.

The main value pearls have is that of enhancing their wearer, making them feel beautifully confident. The glow of the pearls will fool the eye of the beholder into reading the pearls glow as the radiance of the wearer.  When pearls have been well cared for their lustre and nacre surface will be radiant and undimmed. Acids and a dry atmosphere, as created in a synthetic fabric bag, will dull the lustre.

High quality pearls with unique or exceptional attributes are more likely to retain or increase (appreciate) their value.

It’s also worth considering that pearls might have more sentimental than financial value. If your family has an heirloom pearl design that’s been passed down for generations, this cherished piece will have significant sentimental value.

If you’re looking to give a new lease of life into an inherited design, book into a personal consultation with us. We’ll work with you to adapt the design so that you can wear it for years to come.

Discover investment pearl designs with Coleman Douglas Pearls

Feel beautifully confident in perfectly matched pearls by browsing our collection of pearl jewellery.

As pearl experts since 1989, we’ll bring over thirty years’ experience in the pearl industry to your decision. Alternatively, we can work with you to create a bespoke design that tells your unique story.


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