Cover image for Pearl buying guide
Pearl buying guide
Newman, Renée, 1948-
Personal Author:
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles : International Jewelry Publications, [1999]

Physical Description:
156 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TS755.P3 N49 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A guide to judging pearl quality and value for the amateur.

Author Notes

Renee Newman, GG (GIA), is a gemologist with broad experience in pricing, evaluating and selling gemstones and jewelry. She has made numerous trips to pearl centers such as Japan, China, Tahiti, Australia, and Hong Kong.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this handbook on purchasing pearls, gemologist Newman defies any hope of elegant prose and dives right in. Her first chapter begins, "The following factors can affect the price of pearls: Luster, Surface Quality, Shape, Color, Size, Nacre (pearl coating) thickness and quality, Matching, Treatment status (untreated or treated), Pearl type (saltwater/freshwater, natural/cultured, whole/ blister)." Assuming readers are novices, Newman explains how to appraise and distinguish among all varieties of pearls. She takes potential buyers and collectors through the ins and outs of the pearl world, and her guide will best serve those looking to make a considerable investment. She explains why buyers might favor one pearl type over another and how to shop for pearls (e.g., examine the strands on a flat white surface, look at the light reflections on the pearls, etc.). A chapter on versatile ways to wear a strand of pearls offers looks reminiscent of 1920s flappers, Jackie Kennedy and Vegas showgirls. Newman also shares a brief, "unconventional" account of the pearl throughout history, written from the point of view of "The Pearl Family" ("we pearls regret the discomfort we cause to [oysters and mussels] when they are alive"). Quizzes in the back of the book will allow readers to test their knowledge, and copious color photographs enhance the workmanlike text. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. 7
Suppliers of Pearls and Jewelry for Photographsp. 8
1 Why Read a Whole Book Just to Buy Some Pearls?p. 11
What This Book Is Notp. 13
What This Book Isp. 14
How to Use this Bookp. 14
2 Curious Facts About Pearlsp. 15
An Apology from the Pearl Familyp. 15
The Pearl Oysters' Responsep. 16
3 Pearl Types and Shapesp. 19
Pearl Typesp. 19
Pearls Produced by Snailsp. 27
Judging Shapep. 29
4 Judging Luster and Nacre Thicknessp. 31
What is Pearl Luster?p. 31
What Determines Luster?p. 32
Judging Lusterp. 33
How Lightning Affects Lusterp. 34
Judging Nacre Thicknessp. 36
Is Nacre Thickness Important and Does It Affect Pricing?p. 39
5 Judging Colorp. 41
Pearl Colorp. 41
Judging Pearl Colorp. 44
How Lighting Affects Pearl Colorp. 46
What Causes Pearl Color?p. 47
What Color is Best For You?p. 48
6 Judging Surface Perfectionp. 51
Pearl Blemishesp. 52
Determining Which Blemishes Are Acceptable and Which Aren'tp. 53
Tips On Judging Surface Perfectionp. 54
Do We Need Standardized Grades to Judge Surface Perfection?p. 55
7 Size, Weight, and Lengthp. 57
8 Judging Makep. 63
9 South Sea Pearls (White and Yellow)p. 67
Price Factorsp. 68
10 Black Pearlsp. 85
Price Factorsp. 77
11 Freshwater Pearlsp. 85
Price Factorsp. 89
12 Pearl Treatmentsp. 93
Natural Color or Not?p. 96
13 Imitation or Not?p. 99
Types of Imitation Pearlsp. 99
Tests That Require No Equipment Other Than A Magnifierp. 100
Other Testsp. 104
14 Natural or Cultured?p. 105
Tests a Layperson Can Dop. 105
Other Testsp. 108
15 Choosing the Claspp. 111
16 Versatile Ways to Wear a Strand of Pearlsp. 117
17 Caring for Your Pearlsp. 125
Cleaning Your Pearlsp. 126
Storing Your Pearlsp. 126
Having Your Pearls Strungp. 127
Miscellaneous Tipsp. 127
18 Finding a Good Buyp. 129
Appendixp. 133
Chemical, Physical, and Optical Properties of Pearlsp. 133
Quizzesp. 135
Bibliographyp. 151
Indexp. 155