Marie Antoinette’s large pearl and diamond pendant sold in 2018 for a staggering $36M at auction. While the provenance and the diamonds made this piece soar in cost, the fact remains that there is another reason why the famous pearl sold so well.
If you’ve ever pored over a beautiful strand of pearls or if you remember how prized your mother’s pearls were to her then you might assume that the value of pearls must be quite high. However, if you try to buy a pearl necklace today, you will find a huge range of prices, some as a low as $50. And these aren’t glass or plastic, but are real pearls. Well, that’s a matter of opinion. The debate between natural versus cultured pearls continues today, with natural pearls commanding much higher prices than cultured. When x-rayed, these two different kinds of pearls show different structures and that’s only part of what affects their value. Have a look at how pearls are priced and evaluated in the fascinating video below.