Last Updated on August 16, 2021 by Carla Jonas
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
A pearl jewelry piece is transformative. It elevates even the most casual of outfits, it instantly polishes business attire and it dazzles when accompanying eveningwear, from cocktail frocks to formal gowns. But buying pearls online can be tricky. What to buy and, more importantly, where to buy it from? Whether you’re just getting your collection started, shopping for pearl engagement rings or statement necklaces, we’ve got you covered.
Before you get shopping, make sure to familiarize yourself with the 5 pearl grading factors in order to make an informed decision – whether you’re shopping for engagement rings or classic studs. Check our shopping guide attached at the bottom of our article to find out everything you need to know.
Below, we’ve compiled a quick step by step shopping guide on how to buy pearls online efficiently, safely and worry-free.
PREDICTION: Worldwide, online jewelry sales are predicted to reach a market value of $340 billion by 2023 and $645 billion by 2035.Click to tweet
Buying Pearls Online Step 1: Find Your Source
A safe shopping experience starts with a great supplier. But how can you make sure you’re shopping from the right one? Sadly, there can be fraudulent online retailers out there. Beware of scams and always go with a reputable seller that has many reviews vouching for their reputation and products.
Below, we’ve compiled a shopping guide checklist featuring tips on selecting a reputable online pearl jewelry retailer:
- They’ve been in business for a long time
- They come with a solid return policy
- The retailer is able to provide fast shipping, ideally free of charge
- They provide excellent customer service and expertise in jewelry
- The retailer has hundreds of thousands of positive reviews on Google, Trustpilot, etc.
- They have been mentioned in reputable media outlets and they have accreditations from the Better Business Bureau and Jewelers of America
- The retailer offers a Certificate of Authenticity with every purchase
- They provide clear contact information, including at least one phone number and a Live Chat option
Buying Pearls Online Step 2: What’s Your Budget?
Setting your budget is essential when shopping for any type of jewelry – and that also applies to pearls. Do not be intimidated if you are not able to allocate a big budget to your future pearl pendant or pearl bracelet. Fact is, when buying pearls online, you can find various products at different price points. Plus, a good retailer will offer something beautiful for any type of client and budget.
Tips on Saving Money When Shopping for Pearl Jewelry
- Have a good understanding of the pearl grading factors before purchasing
- Choose an online retailer that can offer you considerable discounts compared to retail prices
- Choose smaller, daintier pearls for the same charm and elegance that large pearls provide
- Opt for freshwater pearls rather than saltwater ones if you are aiming to save money
- Opt for a classic necklace length: the choker and the princess lengths are some of the most elegant options
Despite their similarity with Akoya Pearls, Freshwater Pearls come with surprisingly affordable price tags. A classic white Freshwater pearl necklace is the perfect piece to start your pearl jewelry collection. Alternatively, a pink or multicolor piece adds personality and a pop of color to any jewelry box.
Buying Pearls Online Step 3: Necklace, Earrings, Bracelet or Pendant?
Once you’ve decided on a budget, it’s time to decide on what kind of jewelry piece you want to purchase. Most online pearl jewelry retailers will offer a diverse range of products, including pearl necklaces, pearl earrings, pearl bracelets, pendants and rings, as well as pearl sets.
If you love a classic look and wish to invest in a piece that you can later gift to future generations, a classic pearl necklace is the best choice. Alternatively, if you love a more modern look and a jewelry piece that is highly versatile, opt for a pair of pearl studs or a pearl pendant. Or, why not – both. Classic pearl earrings, as well as pearl pendants are ideal if your style is generally smart-casual. If your style tends to be on the bohemian side, leather pearl jewelry and mother of pearl jewelry pieces make great accessories.
Statement jewelry pieces include drop pearl earrings, pearl bracelets (which are also perfect for formal attire, as well as business-chic ensembles) and pearl rings, which also make great alternatives to the classic diamond engagement rings.
Buying Pearls Online Step 4: Lush Akoya, Dainty Freshwater or Glam South Sea?
Pearl size, luster, quality and type all play an important role in a pearl jewelry’s value. In general, Freshwater Pearls are the most affordable type, followed by Akoya, then Tahitian Pearls – while White and Golden South Sea pearls are the most expensive types. Next are a few tips on buying pearls – and making sure they are the right kind for you.
- Choose Freshwater Pearls if you are looking for an affordable option without sacrificing on elegance.
- Choose Akoya Pearls if you are looking for a great variety of pearls that are round or almost perfectly spherical.
- Opt for Hanadama Pearls if you are interested in pearls subjected to the highest standards of testing concerning nacre quality. Shop Hanadama if you want pearls with exceptional luster and iridescence.
- Shop Tahitian Pearls if you are looking for naturally ‘black’ pearls. Tahitian pearls come in dark, charcoal, silver, peacock, copper and blue-green shades.
- Choose White South Sea Pearls if you are interested in a great range of large and ultra-large pearls. These gems come in shades like luminescent white, pale honey gold and ivory and they ‘glow from within’.
- Select Golden South Sea Pearls if you are looking for gold & glamorous pearls that are the most valuable on the market.
Watch our video below to understand the most important differences between Freshwater and Akoya Pearls:
FACT: Golden South Sea pearls look the best when set in warm-hued settings such as yellow gold encasings. White and black pearls work best with silver and white gold.Click to tweet
The Final Touch – Step 5: Make It Personal!
Buying pearls online should be a personal experience. And the fifth step of the process definitely makes it as personal as it gets. In order to be truly happy with your purchase, a good online pearl jewelry retailer will give you the option to customize your jewelry piece.
Choices such as clasps (that range from standard clasps in fine finishes to intricate, diamond-adorned clasps), necklace and bracelets lengths, gold or setting type, as well as pearl overtone and pearl quality will give you the opportunity to create the jewelry piece of your dreams.
Find out more about the different types of clasps from our video below!
FACT: The most popular pearl necklace length is called the 18-Inch “Princess Length”. Often called the “Modern Classic” length, it should come to rest about 1.5 to 2.0-inches below the hollow of the throat.Click to tweet
Build your own pearl necklace! If you are looking for a truly unique piece of jewelry that is designed exactly according to your specifications, shop our Pearl Moments Collection. Whether you prefer Freshwater, Akoya or Tahitian pearls, you can add or remove gems yourself for a piece that is truly tailored to your desires.
Check out our comprehensive Shopping Guide below on How to Buy Pearls Online. Download our eBook and enjoy the shopping experience!