Pearls have become a classic basic in today’s jewelry even though they are the oldest known gem in history.

Do you know how to choose the perfect pearl?

When the goddess Venus emerged from the waters, the iridescent sea drops rolled down her body and turned into pearls before returning to the sea. In Hindu mythology, Krisna, discovered the first pearl and gave it to her daughter on her marriage. A gift from the gods in nature.

The use of pearls as ornamentation is not at all current. Civilizations since ancient times have enjoyed the suggestive power of pearls. They captivate us with their magic and natural beauty. But would you know how to choose the perfect pearl?

In Gordillo Jewelry we help you to know all the secrets of this gift of nature.


Although gems have an emotional content in which subjectivity is a determining factor, when choosing a pearl it is interesting to know certain characteristics that give place to know if a pearl is of higher or lower quality.

Although the 4C criteria (Carat, Color Clarity and Cut) is widely known and used for diamonds, the criterion to determine the value of a pearl is less known. These characteristics are collected with the 5s, Size, Shine, Shape, Surface and Shade.


The size of a pearl is given by its largest diameter in millimeters. Although it is a relevant factor, it is not the maximum criterion for choosing a pearl.

The smallest natural pearls are found from 5 mm in jewelry and are sometimes used as first jewelry.

Pearls can reach sizes superior to 20mm, as it is the case of Australian pearls, although their value will be compromised with the real layer of mother-of-pearl it has, since this will determine some of the other characteristics such as its luster.

A woman's hands display a white gold ring with diamonds and Australian pearl.

White gold ring with diamonds and Australian pearl.

Luster (Shine)

Luster is the incidence of light on the mother-of-pearl layers of the pearl. The luster is what gives them that unique mystical halo that differentiates them from other gemstones.

A pearl with a proper luster shines evenly without milky or glassy marks on its surface.

High jewelry pearl necklace

Long pearl necklace.


The bigger the size, the easier it is for the pearl to present irregularities in its shape, being some of them totally unclassifiable. These pearls are known as baroque pearls and have a particular beauty that is not negligible. In fact, it is the choice in many of our pieces where we want to convey a more informal and natural style.

But it is true that the human being by nature is a great persecutor of symmetry, especially as far as natural elements are concerned. This, together with the greater complexity in finding totally regular elements, makes the rounder pearls the most valuable.

Rose gold earrings with pearls

Earrings, made in rose gold with baroque pearls.


The surface of the pearls is full of marks that cannot be considered imperfections, since they are the result of nature’s own action on its body.

But it is true that all the so called spots on a pearl modify the direction and the way in which the light reflects on them becoming one more criterion to take into account at the moment of its choice.

A certain degree of imperfection will give the piece character and personality.

Four perfectly round pearls

Full round pearl design.


Although if we imagine a pearl we always imagine the most absolute white, this is not so at all.

The tone of a pearl is defined by the color and its orientation. The color is determined by the origin and characteristics of the animal. There is an immense chromatic range that goes from gray, black, green or yellow tones. The value of each color will depend on the tastes and habits of each consumer, leaving open a wide range of possibilities in terms of choice depending on the characteristics of the person who is going to wear them.

A white or gray pearl will be more flattering on cooler skins, but green and yellow pearls will be more flattering on tanned skins.

Orient is one of the most valued characteristics in pearls and is the result of the undertones reflected by the light radiating on the surface.

Woman's hands holding a Tahitian black pearl necklace

Long necklace, made with black Tahitian pearls.

Caring for a natural jewel

You already have all the resources to know how to choose pearls, but being a living element, its care is of vital importance.

1. A cloth of natural fibers such as cotton or silk will keep your piece in an excellent state of cleanliness.

2. It is important to avoid all types of chemicals such as perfume, creams or hair care products that can damage your pearl.

3. It is also important not to use them in swimming pools, due to the powerful chemical effect of chlorine.

By following these simple recommendations you will be able to keep your jewelry in perfect condition.