Linda Sexton | Linton Jewelry | Owner & Designer

If you have any additional questions, we would LOVE to speak with you personally!

To speak to a member of our team, please contact us at (864) 584-6434, email us at, or send us a note here. We want to help!

What is a Cultured Pearl and where do they come from?

Cultured (think cultivated) pearls are real pearls that are grown inside live mollusks over a period of a few weeks to several years.  They are locally farmed in select areas of the world and considered a prized gemstone.   It is estimated that 99% of the world’s pearls in circulation today are Cultured.

What are the different types, shapes, and colors of pearls?

The major pearl types are Freshwater, Akoya, South Sea, and Tahitian.  Each is harvested in different regions of the world and have sizes, shapes, and natural colors unique to the type.  We LOVE Freshwater pearls because they can be found in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The farming methods have improved significantly in recent years and we are proud to offer our pearls in a number of different shapes including Baroque, Keshi, Mabe, Round, and Coin. Since they are naturally porous, our farmers also add a wide range of shading outside of naturally occurring colors as well.  These are all real cultured pearls of true value regardless of tint or shape.

Why do some pearls have color?

There are many natural colors of pearls that occur and also shading that can be added both during the growth cycle and after harvest.  This wide variety of color is one of the many ways of enhancing real pearls and making them wonderfully unique. Since pearls are naturally porous, our farmers add a wide range of shading outside of naturally occurring colors as well.

Where do pearls come from?

Pearls have been a prized possession since the dawn of man.  Unlike diamonds and other gemstones that are mined, cut, and polished before use, pearls come out of the living mollusk in their pure state already beautiful. They were first farmed in Japan by Kokichi Mikimoto beginning in the late 1800’s.  Since then the process and techniques have improved tremendously.  Most major pearl farms are now found in Asia, French Polynesia, and Australia.

How are pearls graded?

There is no industry standard for grading and determining value of pearls and as such each jeweler has different methods.  While there is a standard scale of A-AAAAA used, it can be misleading as one person’s determination can be quite different from another.  In general higher quality pearls have nice luster and an appealing shape.  Although larger pearls typically are more expensive, a high luster and perfectly round smaller pearl can be significantly more valuable.  It is best to trust the supplier of the pearl as well as your own eye when determining if a pearl is valuable and beautiful.

Are your pearls real?

Goodness YES! We only use real pearls that were formed inside a living freshwater or saltwater mollusk.  You can easily tell a real pearl from a fake, plastic, or simulated pearl by the “tooth test”.  Simply rub the pearl on the front of your teeth and a real pearl will feel gritty while others will be smooth.

How do I care for my pearls and jewelry?

Keep your jewelry away from any harsh chemicals or unapproved jewelry cleaning solutions.  This is the primary cause of damage or discolorations.

While 18k gold will not fade it will need to be polished occasionally.  Sterling Silver can tarnish over time but also can be restored with proper cleaning.  We recommend a professional jeweler in both cases though this should not be needed very often.

Gemstones and pearls can be gently rubbed with a dry or damp soft cloth to remove excess oils, sweat, perfume, or dirt before storage. When not wearing it is suggested stored jewelry not be exposed to excessive sunlight or heat and kept dry.  Pearls in particular, however, do need some moisture over time so it is best not to keep them in an air tight container.

How can I tell if a pearl is real?

You can lightly rub a pearl against the front of your teeth (so you don’t scratch it) and it should feel gritty.  Fake, plastic, or simulated pearls do not have this natural grit.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Are you offering any promotions or discounts and why should I sign up for the Newsletter?

First time customers can receive 15% off their first order by signing up for Newsletter.  The Newsletter will highlight any future discounts along with exciting news on new designs and releases.  Current and additional promotions are also shown on the website on a per product basis.

Do your prices change or will I be able to lock in a discount?

At times, our prices do change over time due to scarcity of the precious materials.  Every pearl we choose is truly unique and often new selections can no longer be paired with existing designs. We cannot guarantee the price or discount you see today will remain the same in the future.

Do you have a physical store?

We do not have a brick and mortar store and feel our website is the best way to bring our unique products at a great value to everyone.

How is your jewelry packaged?

We have found the best method for shipping and storage of our jewelry is in a high quality slide lock plastic pouch.  The breathable pouch is placed inside a small gift box with a ribbon tied around it and will arrive to you in a standard shipping box or envelope.  You are welcome to reuse any of the packaging for you own storage and travel use though many choose to discard all but the pouch.