Akoya Pearl Size Guidelines

When it comes to quality pearls, like most gems, size does matter. A key factor in a pearl's value is its size, with the larger pearls generally being the more prized.  

You should always buy the pearl size and the type of pearl that you like. Akoya pearls are steeped in tradition from the time when only the rich and royalty could afford a glorious necklace of matched pearls. If you like to buck trends, by all means do it! If you want to go with tradition, follow these guidelines:

These sizes are approximations and may vary depending on the browser you use

  • 5.5 mm-6 mm These small pearls are traditionally worn by girls ages 12 to 16 or very small women.
  • 6.0-6.5 mm This size is the perfect gift for graduations or 16th birthdays. They are traditionally worn by young women ages 16-24.
  • 6.5 mm-7.0 mm A strand of this size is considered the "starter" set for women in their mid 20s on up. It is the traditional birthday, Christmas and Valentine's Day present.
  • 7.5 mm-8.0 mm This size, traditionally worn by women age 30 and up, is the strand for the upwardly mobile woman. Not too flashy, 8 mm is big enough to give an air of importance. This size is a traditional wedding or anniversary gift through the fifth year of marriage.
  • 8.0 mm-8.5 mm These pearls tend to be more expensive, so they are traditionally worn by women age 35 and up, and often signify financial success.
  • 8.5 mm-9.0 mm A strand of this size are perfect for women ages 35 to 45 or a woman in her early 30s of high stature. They exude class. Jacqueline Kennedy's famous pearls were this size.
  • 9.0 mm-9.5 mm These high-end pearls are traditionally worn by women in their later years. You'll find these pearls in the jewelry boxes of wealthy women or dedicated pearl collectors.
  • 9.5 mm-10.0 mm Pearls are rarely found in this size and even harder to match well, so they fetch a very high price on the jewelry market. Former First Lady Barbara Bush owns pearls this size.

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