How to Measure Pearl Size: A Guide by House Of Pearls


Pearls have long been revered for their beauty, allure, and elegance. Their timeless charm has made them an indispensable part of the jewelry box for centuries. At House of Pearls, we understand that one of the most critical aspects of choosing the right pearl jewelry is understanding the size of the pearls.

However, as nature is never truly uniform, the sizing of pearls, especially hand-picked ones, may slightly differ from one another. Here's a comprehensive guide to help you measure the size of different pearls and understand these natural variances.

Why Pearl Size Matters

The size of a pearl can influence its value, appeal, and the way it sits in jewelry. Larger pearls require more time to grow and are often seen as more valuable than their smaller counterparts. The size can also dictate the style and appearance of pearl jewelry – a chunky pearl necklace makes a statement, while dainty pearls offer subtle sophistication.

How to Measure Pearl Size

  1. Using a Caliper: This is the most accurate tool for measuring pearls. It's a precision instrument that can measure the diameter of a pearl to the nearest tenth of a millimeter. Simply place the pearl between the caliper's jaws and read the size.

  2. Using a Ruler: If you don’t have a caliper, a ruler is a handy tool. Place the pearl right against it and check its diameter. Ensure the ruler has clear markings to give an accurate reading.

Different Pearls and Their Size Variations

  • Akoya Pearls: Typically these are round and are harvested at sizes between 6 and 8.5 mm. However, exceptional Akoya pearls can reach up to 11 mm.

  • Freshwater Pearls: These can vary greatly in size. Standard freshwater pearls can be as small as 5 mm and as large as 9.5 mm. But special ones, like Edison Freshwater Pearls, can reach sizes of up to 13 mm.

  • Tahitian Pearls: These black pearls usually range between 8 mm and 16 mm. Some unique Tahitian pearls can even surpass this size.

  • South Sea Pearls: Known to be among the largest, their sizes generally range between 8 mm and 20 mm.

Natural Size Variances

Nature, in all its grandeur, isn’t about uniformity. Hence, even pearls harvested from the same oyster can slightly differ in size. At House of Pearls, many of our pearls are hand-picked, emphasizing their natural beauty and uniqueness. This means that while you might choose a 7 mm pearl pendant, its size might be 6.9 mm or 7.1 mm. These minor differences are a testament to the organic and unique nature of each pearl.


Choosing the right pearl size is a combination of personal preference, the style of jewelry you desire, and your budget. At House of Pearls, we believe in celebrating the beauty of each pearl, irrespective of its size. Remember, it’s the sheen, luster, and story of the pearl that truly defines its beauty.

Visit House of Pearls for a handpicked collection of pearls, and let nature's wonders adorn you.