Checklist for Assessing Pearl Quality
Size - Like all gems, the larger the pearl, the higher the value.
Shape - Freshwater pearls come in many shapes. They may be round, rice, pear, or teardrop shaped. Irregularly shaped pearls are called baroque pearls. Tiny pearls are called seed pearls. The general rule? The rounder the pearl, the more valuable it is.
Luster - The luster should be luminous and deep-seated, not just on the surface.
Color - Pearls come in a wide variety of colors and several shades of each. Color doesn’t generally determine price with cultured freshwater pearls.
Surface - The surface should be smooth and free of large blemishes or roughness.