The #1 Factor of Pearls : Luster
As we’re sure you want to get started looking at pearls right away, remember that the number one factor determining a pearl’s value is its luster. This is the pearl’s inner glow, the reflection you observe on the surface of the pearl.
An easy way to choose luster is to compare two pearls of different prices side-by-side using your finger’s reflection as a guide. If the reflections are fuzzy, move on… don’t spend your money wearing a lackluster pearl around town! Those who know pearls will notice (and you did intend to show your pearls off, right?)
Using this suggestion alone will save you hundreds – even thousands – of dollars! The pictures below show increasing luster from left to right. Notice the spot of light appears “tighter” and most distinct on the rightmost image.