Pearl Guide

Through our collection you will see a variety of Myanmar, Indonesian and Australian South Sea Pearls, Tahitian Pearls and also Japanese, Chinese and American Freshwater pearls. All these pearls are hand picked and matched to make timeless pieces of jewellery.

When buying a pearl, it is important to be informed about what you are purchasing. Here is a little information on Pearls to help you make an informed decision about your important purchase.

Due to the natural process of how a pearl is formed, every pearl is individual and unique and will have slight variations. The 5 things you need to know about pearls are:

  • Colour
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Lustre
  • Surface Quality

We have given you a pearl guide on each separate type of pearls to keep you informed.

South Sea Pearls

South sea pearls are salt water pearls that grow inside Silver/golden lipped oyster also known as Pintada Maxima oyster.


Silver-lipped South Sea pearl oysters generally produce pearls in the white, silver, aqua and blue family of overtones. The gold-lipped variety produces the cream, champagne, and deeper golden variety.

Ekul Pearls only sources natural coloured pearls.


Most pearls are between 8mm and 15mm. Pearls that are sized between 16mm to 20mm are rarely found which makes them highly priced. Size is a personal preference.


Pearls come in a variety of shapes from the classic round shape, to teardrop, button and right through to the funky trend setting baroque. A pearl grown on the oyster shell is referred to as a Mabe‛ pearl or a half pearl.


Pearls produce an intense, deep shine called lustre. This shimmering iridescent effect is created when the nacre of a pearl absorbs, refracts and reflects light. The best quality pearls have a bright iridescent lustre whereas poorer quality pearls show little iridescence. Lustre helps the pearl to reflect its vibrant overtones. Good to Excellent lustre is important in a pearl as it helps to minimise other imperfections on the surface of the pearl

Surface Quality

Ekul Pearls grades all their pearls by using the A-AAA grading system.

AAA – Flawless on at least 90% of the pearls surface

AA+ - Flawless on at least 80% of the pearls surface

AA – Flawless on at least 70% of the pearls surface

A+ - Flawless on at least 40% of the pearls surface

A – Flawless on at least 30% of the pearls surface

Surface blemishes or we like to call them birthmarks, plays an important role in the valuation of a pearl. The fewer surface blemishes a pearl has the more valuable it is.

Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian or black pearls come from the black-lipped pearl oyster or Pinctada Margaritifera and are found around Tahiti and the French Polynesian region. Although often referred to as black, Tahitian pearls come in a rainbow of exotic colours.


Tahitian Pearls have shades of black and grey for the body colour with strong hues of silver, green, peacock and copper.


Tahitian Pearls come in a range of Sizes from 8mm through to 15mm. See Chart above in South Sea Pearls.

Surface Quality

Ekul Pearls grades all their Tahitian pearls by using the Tahitian pearl grading standards set forth by GIE Perles de Tahiti, The governmental organisations of French Polynesia.

A – Flawless on at least 90% of the pearls surface

A/B - Flawless on at least 80% of the pearls surface

B – Flawless on at least 70% of the pearls surface

C - Flawless on at least 40% of the pearls surface

D – Flawless on at least 30% of the pearls surface


Round Tahitian Pearls are quite rare but other exotic shapes like drop, baroques and ovals are highly sort after and still considered very valuable.

Lustre – Same as details above

These Tahitian pearls can display a stylish exotic look, so if you are looking for a naturally dark pearl, Tahitian pearls might be the right choice for you.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are the most affordable pearls sold today. They are produced by the Hyriopsis cumingi, Hyriopsis schlegeli, and Cristaria plicata mussels, which live in lakes and rivers in China and Japan and America. The mussels are grafted with pieces of mantle tissue, resulting in pearls of solid nacre.


Freshwater Pearls come in a miriade of colors. The white freshwater pearl have overtones of rose cream and silver.There is also a rainbow of pastle colours such as lavender, pink/peach and every shade inbetween, Also new to the matrket are metallic colours.

Ekul Pearls only carries the classic white Freshwater pearls with Rose and cream overtones.


Freshwater pearls come in a variety of shapes including potatoe-shape, rice shape, button pearls, drop pearl, off-round and round. The perfectly round freshwater pearl is extremely rare and the rounder a freshwater pearl is the more expensive it becomes. Refer to the picture in south sea pearls for shape different shape guide.


The size of freshwater pearls varies from tiny seed pearls measuring 1-2mm in diameter right through to 15mm and larger. When freshwater pearls measure over 14mm the quality of the pearl starts to decline.


Same as details above.

Surface Quality

Ekul Pearls grades all its freshwater pearls using the A-AAAA Freshwater Pearl Grading Guide.







Low Quality freshwater representing the bottom 60% of a pearl harvest

Medium-Grade freshwater of representing top 20% of a Pearl harvest.

High-Grade representing the top 10% of a pearl Harvest.

Very high-

Grade of freshwater pearls representing the 1-2% of a pearl harvest


Heavy blemishing with only 50% or less clean surface

Minor to medium blemishing with a 70-80% clean surface

Minor blemishing with at least 90% of the pearl surface clean

Very Minor to no blemishing with at least 95% of the pearl surface clean





Very High


Off Round

Off Round

Near Round to Round


Freshwater pearls are considered the fashion pearl as they are Graceful, classic, alluring, fascinating and tantalizing all at an affordable price.