How to choose Pearls in Vietnam?

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One of the most popular gifts from Vietnam is pearls. This is not surprising, because Vietnam is one of the largest producers of pearls in the world, aided by the excellent natural conditions. Well, the low price of Vietnamese pearls due to the low cost of labor. At least until this is so, and to buy in Vietnam is very high quality and relatively inexpensive pearls possible.

But, as elsewhere, there are dealers who want to earn extra money without spending any effort. And in Vietnam there is a great opportunity to part with their money and buy real pearls instead of outright forgery. And if you buy counterfeits you'll be able to avoid, there is always the chance to buy low-quality pearls, or just buy the pearls at incredibly high prices. And, surprisingly, you are not immune from such troubles nor in the street market or in expensive boutiques, or even on the farm to grow pearls. Just in the last two chance to run into a fake or pay much less, but it is.

Of course, the best way to avoid this, a good understanding of the object of purchase and to be careful. We understand that it is very difficult, especially if you've never touched the pearls. However, if you are determined not to return from Vietnam without a souvenir in the form of pearls, you can read the recommendations below. Of course, already in place in Vietnam around you just to see many "well-wishers", to assist you in choosing the best place to sell pearls, and where you never will be deceived. As you can see, the word "friend" in quotes, and not casual. So all hope for you.

And another tip, albeit an obvious, but don't forget about it: don't rush your purchase. Look at a few places, compare, bargain (bargaining is possible even in the boutiques), check. And then your purchase will be successful.

So, how to choose (estimate).

1. Color

Цвета жемчуга

The color of the pearl is determined by eye under natural light or under a fluorescent lamp on a white or light gray background. The color of a pearl is influenced primarily by the mollusk in which it grew, as well as the environment: temperature and salinity (salinity is accounted for saltwater pearls).

Pearl has many colors and shades. Natural pearls can be white, pink, cream, purple, peach, lavender, gold, grey, blue, by baklazhanovy, chocolate and black. Snowy white pearls is considered a classic, like white with shades of pink or cream.

2. Shine

Блеск жемчуга

When choosing pearl jewelry, special attention should be paid to the luster of pearls, it needs to be intense and deep and, as if to come from within, and not just iridescent, imitation pearls in jewelry. The stronger the luster of a pearl is the more valuable it is.

The luster is determined by eye how well light reflects from the surface. The brightness depends on the time of year – in winter, the layer of nacre is thin and dense, and in summer – thick and friable and, as a consequence - year-old pearls are less shiny. The brightness of the luster of a pearl is determined by the light reflected by the numerous layers of nacre. In natural pearls, there is a contrast between the area with the brightest Shine and the shaded portion that creates the impression of a glowing Orb inside the pearls.

When evaluating pearls, you need to examine it and roll it in your palm to check the uniformity of gloss. It is best to inspect the pearls on a white background as the white background just reveals the true quality of pearls.

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3. The thickness of the nacre

Строение жумчуга

This criterion is used to evaluate the pearls, which were cultivated by nuclear method. The thickness of the nacre depends on the time it took for the cultivation of pearls, from the health of the mollusk in which it was grown and from the environment (water temperature). To determine the thickness using the method of direct measurement (magnifier with scale) or indirect method (the method of blokowania) – through a thin layer of nacre will flare kernels, good pearls, they are not translucent.

4. Form

Форма жемчуга

In pearls there are several forms: sphere, pear, oval, button and irregular pearl, Baroque. The sphere is the perfect shape for pearls.

The shape is determined visually, the pearl is rolled on an inclined surface, if the trajectory of the pearl video, the shape is spherical, if deflected to the side – not spherical.

From the shape of the pearl depends directly on its price. Pearl the right shape is estimated much more expensive. A small irregularity (when the pearl is elongated or flattened at the poles) lowers the price of pearls significantly.

The spherical shape of the pearls are less often found in nature, and that affects its value. Symmetrical pearls, oblong pearls (rice), tapered to the center (maize), straw, at a cost they are much cheaper areas. Pearls "Baroque" have the wrong form for this, they are the cheapest. However, under the influence of fashion, interest in Baroque pearls are very high, which contributes to the increase in the price of this kind of pearls.

5. Surface finish

Чистота жемчуга

Don't expect to see natural pearls without natural defects, its almost non-existent.

Surface defects are of three types : recess, UPS (bumps, nodules) and angiopine spots (spots with low gloss or other color, in consequence of nonuniform blend). All types of defects are determined visually throughout the area of the pearls.

Pearls of the highest quality (AAA) defects is visible only if it is rotated. On the pearl quality AA minor defects are visible when it's just sitting on the table. Quality pearl has A more visible defects, however, is still commercial.

The presence of defects in the pearl to check when an intense scattered light on a dark background.

Perfect pearls are very rare, so the minor natural defects can close your eyes if you Shine , shape and thickness of the nacre layer on top.

Especially the pearl has a bright lustre, natural hide surface defects.

6. Size

Размер жемчуга

The larger the size of the pearl, the more expensive it is. The size depends on the age of the mollusk in which it was grown pearl.

7. The degree of overlap in the selection

When choosing jewelry made of pearls, an important criterion is the proper selection and matching of the size of the pearls in strands and pairing to headsets and ear-rings. If you take, for example, a necklace, choker or bracelet, the degree of matching of the pearls is taken into account in assessing the quality of the product.

Graded jewelry, when in a single product used pearls of different diameters with the effect of gradual decrease from the centre, also require careful selection. The combination of the pearls in the finished product affects the price of jewelry is poorly matched pearls look less attractive and affect the impression. Also make sure that all the pearls on the thread is drilled in the center, are flat and evenly distributed. Otherwise, the decoration will look sloppy.

Quality Features
Gloss Defects Coincidence Surface Mother of pearl
AAA great in 95 - 99% no great spherical 95%
AA+ great in the 90 - 95% no great spherical 95%
AA very good 80-90% no very good spherical 90%
A good minor good nearly spherical 85%
B normal average defects good nearly spherical 80%
C normal numerous defects normal Baroque 75%
D bad numerous defects normal Baroque 70%

Length pearl necklace

Длина ожерелий из жемчуга

When choosing pearl jewelry, it is also necessary to decide what length is best suited to a specific person. The Constitution of the body, clothing style and age are important criteria in the selection length.


The information is provided by a certified gemologist Dmitry Dovgal.

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