Pearl Necklace Cost

Last Updated on March 10, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

If you want to adorn your neckline with a necklace made of real sea or freshwater pearls, you may be interested in learning more about these gems. The art of recognizing the difference in the quality of pearls will make you more careful when choosing and buying a necklace.

How Much Does a Pearl Necklace Cost?

Factors such as the jewelry store, the designer, and the type of pearl, will affect the cost of a pearl necklace. Expect to pay $15 to more than $36,000 for a pearl necklace, depending on the exact type of pearl and its quality and size. All the pearls sold at local jewelry stores are referred to as cultured pearls unless otherwise stated for natural pearls. These cultured pears may include the Tahitian, Akoya, South Sea, and Freshwater pearls. In the table below you will find the average costs of these types of pearls.

Type of Pearl Description Average Size Range Average Price
Tahitian This is the only pearl that will appear black naturally. It can have other colors from silver to dark green. This is also a pearl that will be either completely round or almost round in shape. 9mm – 16mm $750 to $17,000
South Sea Will have a tone that will range from golden to silver and will be almost completely round in shape. The rarity of these pearls makes them very valuable, being considered the equivalent of Rolls-Royce for pearls. 9mm – 18mm $1,200 to $55,000+
Freshwater These ones will come in a range of colors, from lavender to pink, while also being available in a myriad of combinations. The freshwater pearls will either be round or almost round. 2mm – 18mm $60 to $1,200
Akoya This is the classic, original white pearl that most people know and think of when thinking of pearls. It has a cream-like overtone on a silver color and is perfectly round in shape. 5mm – 11mm $90 to $3,500

According to the Pearl Paradise website, the cost of a pearl necklace would start at just $1 and go up to more than $100,000, depending on the type, size, shape, quality, color, and luster of the pearl.

You can find a 100-inch cultured pearl necklace at Costco for the price of around $100, and a 16.5 mm South Sea 18-carat yellow gold necklace at the cost of almost $33,000.

Factors influencing the price


As you could notice in the table above, the cost of a pearl necklace is highly affected by the type of pearl. A freshwater pearl is much cheaper than an Akoya pearl, which is identical in size and shape. Why? An oyster in the sea is able to produce only two pearls at a time, while one mussel in a lake is able to produce around forty freshwater pearls during one season.


You might also like our articles on the cost of peridot, jade, or amethyst.

When we think about it, a pearl should be off-white or white in color. Though, other popular colors found on the market are black, cream, yellow, pink and silver. Also, pearls come in a mix of hues, that can usually be seen when the light reflects off of it. Typically, pearls that have a clear shape and overtone will have the highest demand.


Another cost factor to pay close attention to is the surface of the pearl. Its quality increases with the level of clearness. There will always be some type of imperfections, but the price will not be affected as long as these flaws can’t be noticed when worn.


Probably the most important cost factor is the size. Similar to other pieces of jewelry, such as a diamond on an engagement ring, the larger the pearl is, the more expensive it may be. The size of a South Sea pearl can reach up to 20 mm, while a freshwater pearl will have a size of 2 to 12 mm.


The overall cost of a cultured pearl you can find at a local jeweler or online, will be affected by its shape. Always, a round pearl will be more expensive than a baroque or a off-round pearl.

Which are the additional expenses?

You may have to restring your necklace in the future. Depending on the size of the necklace, a professional will charge anywhere between $30 and $80 to restring.

Important things to consider

Single Pearl NecklaceDon’t be fooled by the authenticity of the pearls. The quality of pearls can be determined by shape, color, size and possible imperfections. Yes. Imperfections really describe and emphasize the authenticity of pearls.

Take a good look at the pearls on the necklace. Don’t be too bummed when finding spots, stains or other irregularities. You can recognize fake pearls primarily by their shine. Their luster resembles that of glass. They are also perfectly round, smooth and identical in size. This is not what you are looking for. An artificial pearl will slide off if you gently rub it on a tooth, a real one will rub off.

On the other hand, real pearls are characterized by slight irregularities in shape and subtle variations in fineness and color. Quality pearls must be uniform in color, beautiful, clean, and have a natural luster. However, when choosing a necklace, make sure that the pearls that make up the necklace are as similar in shape and size as possible and also have similar imperfections. Only such a necklace will look really natural and beautiful on your neckline.

The processing of a pearl necklace is just as important when choosing a quality piece of jewelry. A quality necklace is made of pearls, which must have a pearl braid (knot). This means that the jewelers form small knots between the pearls. They mainly prevent the pearls from shifting and damaging them by rubbing against each other and also protect the pearls from spilling if the necklace is accidentally broken.

Knotting is quite lengthy and requires skill and precision on the part of the jewelers. If the pearl necklace has a knotted weave, then expect a higher but still affordable price for the piece of jewelry. If the pearls are strung in the form of beads, that is, without a knot, then it is a cheaper and lower quality jewelry design. If you already have such a necklace at home, it is recommended that you get it strung at any good jewelry store.

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