South Sea PearlsPaspaley are the finest and we carry them!

La Mode Fine Jewellers is proud to offer PASPALEY South Sea Cultured Pearls.

Paspaley has developed a comprehensive product and pricing matrix to ensure a reliable consistency in ordering with certainty of quality and pricing. The matrix is the world’s first and only published grading and pricing list for South Sea cultured pearls, making the pearl selection process easier for our business partners and customers. Following the harvest, every Paspaley pearl is sorted to five key considerations of this matrix - characteristics that we call the five virtues of South Sea pearls:

Natural Luster

Lustre is the single most important determinant of pearl quality. Lustre is derived from the pearls' countless thick layers of pearl nacre. Nacre is the natural pearly substance that forms the body of the pearl itself. It is the nacre of a pearl that causes light to be refracted from different depths of the nacreous layers through minute prisms, giving each pearl its unique lustrous appearance.

It is the depth and, more importantly, the quality and richness of the lustrous natural nacre that sets Paspaley pearls apart. Most Paspaley South Sea pearls have nacre more than 3mm in thickness while larger examples boast nacre of more than 6mm – a quality unmatched by any other producer.

When a pearl has particularly fine lustre, it may also display an effect known as "orient". Orient refers to the unique play of colours (or iridescent effect) on a pearl's surface that exists only in the presence of fine nacre. It is a characteristic common only to oceanic pearls and is not found in freshwater pearls. It should not be confused with the true colour of the pearl which is determined by the colour of the mother-of-pearl shell in which the pearl is formed. Pearls can be artificially coloured or bleached but orient can not be replicated. Artificial treatments only give the pearl a superficial surface shine.

Complexion

Complexion refers to the flawlessness of a pearl’s surface. As pearls are created by nature, it is common for most pearls to have some sort of blemish on their surface or imperfections within the pearl nacre, referred to as ‘movement’.

Pearls without such natural characteristics are generally the most valuable. Complexion marks may or may not detract from the pearl’s beauty, depending on their quantity, depth or visibility.

Paspaley pearls are graded into Statement, Fine, Fashion and Foundation according to the quality of the complexion.

The combination of lustre and complexion is the key to pearl quality.

Statement - Exceptional quality pearls

When set in jewellery or strung in a strand, the surface of the pearl is spotless and the nacre of the pearl is virtually free of movement. These pearls have exquisite deep lustre with the finest quality nacre.

Fine – Premium quality pearls

When set in jewellery or strung in a strand, the surface of the pearl appears spotless and the nacre of the pearl appears free of movement. On close inspection, however, very slight imperfections in the surface and/or movement in the nacre may be seen. The pearls are usually set in a way that makes the skin appear clean. These pearls have beautiful lustre and very fine quality nacre.

Fashion - High quality pearls

From a normal social viewing distance, the surface of the pearl may appear clean and the nacre of the pearl may appear free of movement. However, upon closer inspection the pearls have imperfections in the surface and slight movement in the nacre. These pearls have beautiful lustre and very fine quality nacre.

Foundation - Good quality pearls

From a normal social viewing distance the surface of the pearl has visible spots and the nacre of the pearl may have noticeable movement. These pearls have good lustre and fine quality nacre.

Shape

From a normal social viewing distance the surface of the pearl has visible spots and the nacre of the pearl may have noticeable movement. These pearls have good lustre and fine quality nacre.They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is certainly the case when it comes to pearl shapes.

The shape of a South Sea pearl is determined by the thickness of the layers of its nacre, thus allowing for an almost endless variety of interesting shapes. Pearls emerge from their oysters just as nature intended and as beautiful as they will ever be.

The shape of the pearl does not affect its quality. South Sea cultured pearls are graded into seven main shape categories.

Round, Semi Round, Drop, Button, Baroque, Semi Baroque, and Circle

Size

South Sea cultured pearls dominate the pearl world in quality and size. They are generally found in sizes between 10mm and 15mm. When found, rarer pearls from 16mm to in excess of 20mm are highly prized by connoisseurs.

Natural Colour

The most popular and predominant colour of South Sea cultured pearls is white. The overtone colours – also known as the orient – of the South Sea cultured pearl are the natural colours of the South Sea pearl shell and cover the full spectrum of the rainbow including silvers, pinks and golds.

Many types of cultured pearls are artificially enhanced with post-harvesting colouring and polishing, but artificial treatments only give the pearl a superficial surface shine and introduced colour. Paspaley South Sea cultured pearls, however, are guaranteed to be of natural colour and lustre without artificial enhancements. While inferior quality or artificially enhanced pearls will not maintain their appearance, the distinctive colour and natural lustre of every Paspaley pearl will not diminish over time.

Care

Paspaley South Sea pearls are a precious gift from nature. While they
are remarkably resilient and we recommend that they should be worn and enjoyed every day, these valuable gems will also respond to special care. Some simple points to remember will help you preserve their natural beauty for generations.

As a rule, put pearls on last when dressing and take them off first when undressing.

Your pearls will appreciate an occasional clean. Prepare a highly diluted solution of warm water with either a dash of alcohol or mild soap. Gently wipe the pearls with a soft cloth dampened with this solution, then wipe them clean with another soft cloth dampened with clean water. Finally,
dry your pearls with a soft, dry cloth.

As some chemicals may harm your pearls, wait until after you apply makeup, perfume or hairspray to put on your pearls.

Don’t allow pearls to rub against harder gemstones or abrasive jewellery. We recommend that you store your pearls
in the original packaging or wrap them in a protective soft cloth.

After wearing your pearls, wipe them gently with a soft cloth before putting away.