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An Oyster Answers Your Questions

Do cultured pearls have a grading system similar to the diamond grading system?   Jim Peters - San Bernadino, CA

Unfortunatey, there is no universal grading system for pearls at this time.  The many different varieties of species and different colors have made it extremely difficult to grade the cultured pearl under one system.



How can someone tell if a pearl is a natural pearl or a cultured pearl?  Susie - Fairfield, PA 

Unless someone finds the pearl in the water themselves or it comes with a certified lab report, one must assume it is cultured.  The only way to tell for certain is to send it to a lab where the pearl can be x-rayed.


Can all oysters make pearls?   Alvira - Fort Lee, NJ

Thoeretically the answer is yes, but not necessarily a lustrous one,  For example the oysters a human would order in a restaurant are a different species than the oysters used to culture pearls.  So the next time you are enjoying oyster out on a night on the town, it is more likely that you will break a tooth on a small pebble like "pearl" than find an amazing gem from the sea.