How Much Should you Pay for a Pearl Engagement Ring?

Feb. 13 2014
A pearl engagement ring may be differently priced according to the type of pearl it contains. It is wise to know the reasons why before you buy.

F and I, like most couples in our position, have thoroughly discussed the financial issues surrounding the purchase of an engagement ring.

At one point, we felt quite confident that we knew how to make sure we were making wise choices and would get the best value for our money. However, now that we are entertaining the idea of alternative engagement rings, the playing field that we thought we knew has shifted.

If it isn’t a diamond you’re looking for then it’s a whole new ball game.

We were recently looking at a pearl engagement ring, and as is the case with any other type of jewel, the question eventually came to: how much does it cost?

The balance between quality and affordability is even more elusive in the field of jewellery than usual, and we decided to do as much research about this contender as possible so we would feel confident that we were making as informed of a decision as possible.

Fake Pearls by Ashley Harrigan, used under a Creative Commons License (

There are several tricks that help identify fake pearls (like these) from real ones

We found it useful to have a general idea of pearl pricings before we dove into the world of pearl engagement ring browsing. As with other precious and semi-precious stones, the instances of imitation pearls being sold as real and other similar scams are plentiful, and it takes an informed buyer to avoid such traps.

Origin and Grade

The origin and grade of a pearl will be the influencing factors on its price. If the stone is a freshwater pearl, the price of the pearl engagement ring should be considerably lower when compared to a similar piece topped by a saltwater pearl. Saltwater pearls can fetch as much as £3,000 to £6,000.

Similarly, pearls will usually be graded according to a standardised system – either from A to AAA (with AAA being the best possible quality) or from A to D. The term ‘gem quality’ might also apply to an unblemished pearl which is preferable for the centrepiece of a pearl engagement ring. Any other add-ons or terms, such as ‘AAA+’, should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Colours, Shapes and Sizes

In terms of what the pearls are actually graded for, buyers should look into size, colour, shape, lustre, and surface and nacre thickness. The greater these factors are, the more a pearl will be worth.

Pearl by David McLoughlin

Pearl by David McLoughlin

Where colour is concerned, white pearls are generally the most expensive, with light cream, cream and dark cream progressively decreasing in value and cost. However, this can be a personal preference as a pearl engagement ring featuring a pink or even chocolate coloured pearl can look exquisite and they are becoming increasingly popular.

These are but a few simple things to look for when shopping for a pearl engagement ring, but they may prove enough to ensure that you get the best quality for your money. Once again, knowledge is power!

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