Who would like to school me on pearls?
Background: I'm now in the market for a pearl pendant, and after learning all about diamonds last year, pearls are a whole new ball game. At least with diamonds there was an accepted method of grading (even if the grades depended on the grader).
What I've learned so far:
Prices & Rarity- Freshwater < Akoya < South Sea
"Typical" grading is A-AAA scale
Why are freshwater pearls so cheap, even though they have more nacre/can last longer?
What are good sizes to look for to be in pendants/earrings?
Who are your suggested vendors?
Any other information I should take into consideration when shopping?