(4) Mon Oct 04 2004 10:13 PST Pearls Of Great Size: In the Colossal Cave adventure you open a colossal oyster to reveal a colossal pearl. There's also a huge pearl in Steinbeck's The Black Pearl. If such a pearl did exist, would it really be that valuable? A marginally bigger chunk of gold is marginally more valuable because it's divisible, but pearls are used in their entirety for decoration. There must be a point beyond which marginally larger pearls stop being marginally more valuable. Clearly this happens well beyond the point where marginally larger pearls become marginally tackier.
Posted by Brian Danger Hicks at Mon Oct 04 2004 14:58
The thing I always wondered about pearls was why nobody cares that they don't have truely natural pearls, but jewlers and whatnot are getting all pissy that you can buy gem-quality man-made diamonds now.
Also, I had to keep myself from saying "perl" instead of "pearl". It was hard.
Posted by Leonard at Mon Oct 04 2004 15:34
I also had difficulty not talking about whether it was really worth it to make Perl larger.
The easy answer to your query is that the pearl trade isn't controlled by a vicious cartel that artificially mantains scarcity. I don't know what the real answer is, but it's probably somewhat related.
Posted by Frances at Mon Oct 04 2004 16:11
I suspect pearls are like diamonds, sizewise. Anybody can buy a diamond under a karat. A .99 diamond is worth much less than a karat, so that's what people go for. After a karat, the price increases exponentially rather than on a continuous scale. However, the tackiness increases exponentially also. Have you seen the website of the company which will make a diamond out of the carbon from the ashes of your dearly departed? Then you can wear grandma as a ring or pendant!
Posted by Susie at Mon Oct 04 2004 19:05
Ok, First, Eew! Second, I would rather have a real pearl and a fake diamond than the other way around (although you're right as far as cost go). Of course, I have a very big (but not exponentially tacky), real, pretty, diamond, but no pearls.