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How to choose pearl size

Choosing Your Pearl Size

Pearls are measured in millimeters by their diameter, but those numbers might mean little to the average consumer shopping for pearls. We've put together the following guide to help give you a sense of the scale of each pearl size - these images will help you understand what the numerical measurements translate to when the pearls are worn.

6.5 to 7.0 millimeters
This is the size most commonly found in jewelry stores. These smaller pearls have traditionally been recommended as an idea size for younger ladies. A perfect choice for her first strand of pearls, this pearl size is often given as a sweet sixteen or graduation gift.
7.0 to 7.5 millimeters
This is the ideal pearl size for first-time buyers--pearls of this size are classic and elegant, yet not as pricey as some of the larger sizes. They are typically finished with high-end clasps. A necklace of these pearls makes a perfect gift to celebrate a special occasion--ideal for a birthday or college graduation gift, or for a bride on her wedding day.
8.0 to 8.5 millimeters
Pearls in this range are the first foray into what is considered a larger, more luxurious pearl size. Pearls that are 8.0mm in size or greater are relatively rare and consequently more valuable. This size is ideal for anniversary and birthday gifts, for new mothers, and for special occasions of any sort. These are for the woman who loves pearls--ideal for sophisticated ladies with refined and elegant taste.
9.0 to 10.0 millimeters
Akoya pearls of this size are extremely rare and exceptionally valuable; they are in the upper range of what the Akoya oyster can produce, and they remain in the oyster for far longer than most pearls. A strand of these pearls is a true luxury--perfect as a special anniversary gift for the lady you've loved for a lifetime, or as a just-because gift for the glamorous, confident woman who deserves only the best.
10.0 millimeters and above
Because the Akoya pearl oyster only very rarely produces pearls this size, strands of 10.0mm or larger are typically composed of black Tahitian pearls, white South Sea pearls, or large freshwater pearls. Most necklaces in this size range tend to be graduated strands. These pearls make a statement when they enter a room--their large size makes them ideal for ladies who want the ultimate pearl necklace.