Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.


Pearls are not technically gemstones, but they are organic and in a class of their own.  To appraise pearls with precision, we use our in-house X-ray units.  X-ray radiographic technology allows us to fully assess and identify natural (untouched by human intervention), beaded (nucleated), tissue-grafted pearls x-rays is non-invasive and will not harm your pearls.  This is a fundamental requirement for identification and authentication purposes.

Our laboratory is fully equipped and licenced for ionizing radiation under the Radiation Protection Act 1965 and issued by the Ministry of Health.  We are the only laboratory in New Zealand, which have these units.  The Radiation Protection Act 1965 (was administered National Radiation Laboratory) will be replaced by the Radiation Safety Act 2016 (now under the Ministry of Health) on 7 March 2017.

But What Type Of Pearls Do I Have?

We will be delighted to help you answer all and any questions regarding your pearls. 

With so many pearls produced in a range of colours (either natural or enhanced), freshwater or saltwater, natural or cultured, oyster or mussel producing specimens available to consumers, accurate grading and appraising is essential.

What Makes Pearls More Valuable Than Others?Pearl XrayPearl Xray

Orient is the term used to describe the pearl’s ability to take in and reflect the light.  The light produces a glow, imparting distinctive qualities, to natural and cultured pearls. The deeper the lustre and iridescence, the more precious the pearl.

Size matters too.  It is more difficult for the bi-valve to produce larger pearls than it is capable of.  Different species of oysters grow in different sizes and environments naturally.

The more symmetrical the shape, the value of the pearl increases.  Examples of pearl shapes include round (spherical), pear or tear-drop, cushion, button, oval and baroque.

The pearls surface is also an attribution to value from smooth and satin through to dimpled and blemished.