Pearl matching is the evaluation of the complete appearance of a pearl strand, pair or multi-pearl piece of jewellery. Matching can include size, colour and quality. A well-matched strand is composed of pearls that complement each pearl above and below, and directly across as the strand drapes.
No Two Pearls are Alike
Because pearls are natural, organic substances, no two of them are identical. Therefore, when a piece of jewellery contains more than one pearl, some effort must be taken to ensure that the pearls all match in an aesthetically pleasing fashion.
Pearl Matching is More About How They Fit Together
The term “Matching” does not mean that all of the pearls are absolutely identical. Nor does it mean that all of the pearls in the piece are generally uniform in size, shape, and colour. It basically means that the pearls “fit together” in a pleasing manner, and that variations among them are either minimal, gradual, or for a specific purpose.
Pearl Matching Uses the Pearls Differences to Make the Piece
For example, a long strand of pearls may have a large pearl in the centre, with pearls which grow gradually smaller strung along either side. Or a strand may consist of pearls of alternating or gradually changing colours. In either of these examples, the pearls are considered well matched if the resulting piece is uniform and consistent, rather than haphazard looking.
Pearl Matching on Smaller Pieces is the Same
In the same way, pearl earrings, bracelets, pendants, rings, etc. any piece that contains more than a single pearl are generally matched to achieve greater beauty and value. If the piece consists of contrasting colours (such as a two-pearl, black-and-white ring), the matching will take into account the size, shape, and lustre of the respective pearls, even though their colours are quite different.