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Pearls.com
A PASSION FOR PEARLS
 

Pearl Size Comparison

Here's a chart that compares common pearl sizes to a dime.

 

 

Some quick guidance:

  • 5mm or less: Generally recommended for young girls and/or very petite ladies.
  • 6mm Pearls: A bit smaller than 'usual' - a good option for ladies 5'3" or under and/or with a particularly slender neck.
  • 7mm - 8mm Pearls: The 'standard' size. Most pearl strands you've likely seen are about 7-8mm.
  • 9mm - 10mm Pearls: Luxury size. Larger than the 'usual' pearl strand, but subtly so. (It is unusual to find Akoya Pearls larger than this).
  • 11mm - 12mm Pearls: Noticeably larger than the norm. Typically only found in Freshwater, South Sea or Tahitian Pearls.
  • 13mm - 16mm Pearls: A true 'statement' heirloom piece of jewelry. Only found in Freshwater, South Sea or Tahitian Pearls.

Having said that... if you're like us, it can be hard to 'visualize' what a 4mm or 8mm or any "mm" pearl size really looks like. And posting an image online isn't so good since they vary in size based on your monitor/resolution.

So here we're going to list some common pearl sizes compared to 'real world' objects that may be easier for you to picture:

  • 4mm pearls are about the same diameter as an unpopped popcorn kernel.
  • 5mm pearls are about the same diameter as a #2 pencil's eraser.
  • 6mm pearls are about the same diameter as a #2 pencil's shaft (a #2 pencil's shaft is 1/4" which is 6.3mm).
  • 7mm pearls are about the same diameter as an average dress-shirt button.
  • 8mm pearls are about the same diameter as a green pea (not the 'baby' peas, the regular ones your mom forced you to eat...).
  • 9mm pearls are about the same diameter as an AAA battery.
  • 10mm pearls are about the same diameter as an M&M Candy (the longer side).
Akoya pearls are rarely available over 10mm in size. Over 10mm pearls are typically Freshwater, Tahitian or South Sea.
  • 12mm is just a hair under 1/2 inch, so 12mm pearls are about the same diameter as the thickness of a standard household sponge.
  • 14mm pearls are about the same diameter as an AA battery.
  • 16mm pearls are about the same diameter as the width of standard-size dice (or think of it as if you took a die and cut off the corners to make it round).
Note: While pearls above 10-11mm are certainly precious, Pearls larger than 16mm are extremely unusual and rare.
  • 18mm pearls are about the same diameter as a dime.
  • 20mm pearls are about half-way between a penny and nickel (19mm and 21mm respectively).
  • 24mm pearls are about the same diameter as a quarter.