Price is based on two factors - shape and quality. Shape is acceptable in any form and the pearls are classified by the shape. The free forms are the least expensive and the near round and round are the most expensive. They are almost always a great deal less expensive than Saltwater cultured pearls. Well-formed baroque pearls are quite expensive and can be as high as rounds in large sizes.
Most cultured pearl varieties are enhanced. This is part of the processing (cleaning, polishing, etc.) that occurs after the pearls are harvested from the mollusk. Pearls can be dyed to apply an overtone or enhance the body color. Sometimes the dye can be detected by a mottled appearance on the surface of the pearl. Irradiating pearls is done to permanently alter the body color.
Reference: The GemGuide by Gemworld International, Inc.
Comments will be approved before showing up.