Pearls are a symbol of purity, virtue and modesty, and exceptionally popular. Technically known as "organic gems", pearls are harvested from shellfish as they have been for over 4,000 years. To get a strong understanding of what to look for when shopping for jewellery like pearl earrings, bracelets and earrings, let's consider the basics of pearls.

Pearls are clearly one of nature's great treasures, but with a wide range of colours, shapes and sources it's easy to get confused about what to look for in pearl jewellery. Starting with the basics we'll look at how a pearl is formed, the sources and types of pearls, their valuation and how this affects the value of pearl jewellery.