A delicate pair of pearl earrings are a classic piece of jewelry that has been popular for centuries. Pearls embody class and sophistication, and look good on any complexion. 

These versatile accessories can elevate almost any outfit worn on any occasion. Whether you’re looking to wear one during a business engagement or a date night, you’ll find a pearl earring that will flatter your look. 

There’s a wide range of pearl earring types in different kinds of designs, colors and materials. This guide will help you find the right one based on your personal styles and preferences. For instance, an elegant pair of pearl studs like The Pearl Source Freshwater Cultured Pearl Earrings will add an extra glow to your face.

Types of best pearl earrings

There are several different styles of pearl earrings to choose from.

  • Pearl stud earrings: A pair of classic pearl stud earrings are appropriate for any occasion and dress code. It can also complement a pearl necklace and complete a set. The size of stud earrings ranges from 2mm to 20mm. 
  • Pearl drop earrings: These have the simplicity of studs, but dangle below the ear. Drop earrings feature either a baroque or teardrop-shaped pearl that adds an elegant touch.
  • Dangle pearl earrings: These are the longer version of drop earrings. The fashionable yet casual design appeals to teenagers who like to wear it for school events and birthdays.
  • Pearl halo earrings: These earrings feature an array of matching gemstones or diamonds that surround the peal in a circle to create a lustrous and captivating appearance.
  • Chandelier pearl earrings: Similar to drop earrings, they dangle below the ear, but have a more dramatic and dressier look and come in a variety of elaborate designs.
  • Hoop pearl earrings: Hoops create a casual and simple look and when you add pearls, they add a playful touch to a formal outfit. Pearl hoop earrings can either be in a single pearl in a mental hoop or an entire hoop of pearls.
  • Double pearl earrings: In this high-fashion piece, the smaller pearl is in the front and the large pearl sits in the back of the earlobe, creating an illusion of two pearls.  
  • Climbers or crawlers: As the name implies, these earrings climb up the earlobe but only require one ear piercing. The style gives a modern twist to classic pearls.
  • Pearl and diamond earrings: These are similar to pearl studs but are beautifully accented with diamonds to add more brilliance and luster to the look. 

What to look for in quality best pearl earrings

Pearl type

Pearls come in various types, each with its own unique looks and traits. These are the four main pearl types:

  • Akoya: These classic white, round pearls are native to Japan and China and are typically the shiniest and cultured pearls in the market. The pearls range in size from 5mm to 11mm and the pearls sometimes have overtones of cream, silver and rose and may be treated to achieve a darker color.  
  • Freshwater: While these pearls don’t have the same luster as Akoya pearls, they come in a wide range of natural colors, including pink, rose tony and an array of dyed options. They come in sizes from 2mm to 18mm and irregular shapes. 
  • Tahitian: These striking pearls, known for their dark hues, are mainly around French Polynesia. While the color is usually described as black, the surface creates a rainbow effect when seen in different lighting, creating an impressive luster. They range in size from 9mm to 16mm and usually have oval or baroque shapes. 
  • South Sea: Considered the rarest, these dark golden pearls are valued for their bright luster and large size. You’ll also find them in white silky silver tones. South Sea pearls are grown mostly in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines and range from 9mm to 18mm. 

Pearl size

Pearls that range from 7mm to 8mm are the most classic size and are usually used for studs. Smaller sizes are ideal for a casual, subtle look, while anything larger than that is great for dressier occasions and when you want to stand out. It’s also important to choose earrings with pearl sizes that flatter the shape and proportions of your face.

Pearl shape

The most common pearl shapes are oval, off-round, teardrop, and baroque. The shape of a pearl determines the overall value of the pearl. Round, symmetrical pearls are considered to have a higher value but off-round and baroque shapes appeal to those looking for something less traditional. 

Pearl color

Pearl comes in a range of colors and isn’t limited to shades of white and cream. You’ll find pearls in unusual colors such as black, blue, lavender, gold, rose and lavender. Sometimes the pearls are dyed to produce these exotic colors but they aren’t worth as much as the natural ones.

Pearl luster

The luster of a pearl refers to how the pearl reflects light. The higher the luster, the more its pearls surface glows and shines. Pearls with high luster are considered high-quality and make a pearl earring pop and get noticed. Lower-quality pearls look full and often have a chalky finish.

How much you can expect to spend on the best pearl earrings

The price of pearl earrings varies based on the color, shape, type, origin and luster. A pair of genuine high-quality pearls can be found in the range of $50 to several thousand collars. If you’re on a budget, simple studs with freshwater pearls are a good option but if your budget allows it, opt for elaborate earrings made with Akoya, Tahitian or South Sea pearls.

Best pearl earrings FAQ

How do I know if my pearl earrings are genuine?

A. Pearls are typically graded according to the A-AAA system based on these characteristics. AAA pearls are considered to be the best, while A pearls are thought to be the lowest quality. You can ask for a certificate of authenticity that will have the grade on it and confirm if it’s been appraised.

Where can I buy pearl earrings from?

A. There are several places where you can buy pearl earrings. Large marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy are great if you’re on the lookout for unique or artisan designs. If you’re someone who loves branded items, you can buy from top names such as Tiffany, Mikimoto, BVLGARI and Tory Burch. But when buying from such stores, know that you’re paying for more than just pearl earrings; you’re paying for the prestige attached to those designer labels.

What are the best pearl earrings to buy?

Top best pearl earrings

The Pearl Source Freshwater Cultured Pearl Earrings

The Pearl Source Freshwater Cultured Pearl Earrings

What you need to know: These timeless and elegant pearls studs will instantly uplift your look on any occasion.

What you’ll love: The earrings feature two top-quality 7mm-size Freshwater cultured pearls from pearl farms in China. The backings are made with 14K gold with rhodium polish, and you can choose to have them made with either yellow or white gold. The mountings are hypoallergenic and lightweight.

What you should consider: The backings of the earrings are fragile and can fall off easily.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top best pearl earrings for the money

Margot Pearl Hoops

Margot Pearl Hoops 

What you need to know: You’ll feel regal when you wear these minimalist pearl earrings laced with gold and silver. 

What you’ll love: These earrings feature 8mm freshwater pearls and 15 mm hoops. The hoop design is available in 18K gold and solid 925 sterling silver. The earrings are handmade and made to order.

What you should consider: Some wearers might find these earrings too small and delicate.

Where to buy: Sold by Etsy

Worth checking out

The Pearl Source Black Tahitian South Sea Cultured Pearl Earrings

The Pearl Source Black Tahitian South Sea Cultured Pearl Earrings

What you need to know: These iridescent black dangling pearl earrings will add class and sophistication to any outfit.

What you’ll love: Each earring features 8mm handpicked Tahitian cultured pearls that are AAA quality. The pearls are mounted on the finest quality of .925 sterling silver mountings with a rose-gold plated finish. 

What you should consider: The price might be a bit steep for budget-conscious buyers.  

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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