Pearl Sizes: Finding the Perfect One

August 11, 2017 by Kiesha Joseph

Now that you are ready to invest in some beautiful and classic pearl jewelry, you need to decide exactly what type of pearl you would like to purchase. The Pearl Source offers a wide range of pearl sizes, but it’s important that you learn about the options available to you before you make a decision. Your pearl jewelry is likely to become a treasured family heirloom, and we want you and future generations to be happy with your choice both now and for decades to come.

Use this pearl sizing chart to help you pick out the right size pearl for your special someone.

Common Pearl Sizes

Pearls sizes range from as small as two millimeters in diameter up to 15 millimeters. The exact sizes available to you will depend on which variety of pearl you’ve decided to purchase. You can learn more about the different types of pearls here: Pearl Types: 5 Main Ones for You to Choose From.

If you’ve chosen Akoya pearls, they range from 3 mm to 9.5 mm. The average size is about 7-8 mm, and this is likely what you will find if you are buying a necklace of Akoya pearls.

Freshwater pearls are a bit larger, ranging from 5 mm to 12 mm. Sometimes they can even be found in larger sizes, although those are rare and more expensive. Most freshwater pearl necklaces will be made up of pearls 7 to 9 mm in diameter.

South Sea pearls are the largest variety. They range from 9 to 15 mm – although some have been harvested that are as large as 20 mm! A pearl necklace of South Sea pearls will typically consist of pearls 10 to 12 mm in diameter, although they usually include a range of sizes.

Tahitian pearls can range from 8 to 16 mm in size and are also often part of a graduated necklace where the largest pearls are in the front, and the smallest are in the back.

Typical Pearl Sizes in Jewelry

As you begin shopping for pearls, you’ll find that the larger varieties are almost always significantly more expensive than their smaller counterparts. Most pearl jewelry is made of pearls in the 7 to 8 mm range, which works well for both necklaces and earrings. Larger pearls are more commonly found in necklaces or bracelets since they can be overwhelming on the ear.

Once you have decided what kind of pearl you want, and the size you are looking for, you’re ready to begin shopping in earnest. Your budget might determine what options are available to you, but we are confident that whatever you choose you’ll be thrilled with because you’ve added genuine pearl jewelry to your collection.