Pearls - What kind do I have?

I like pearls and it would seem that my clients do too. When I post photos of some of my pearl jewelry it often gets the most views. I have learned a bit about pearls and I thought that you may be interest in learning more as well. Have you noticed that Vice President Harris and First Lady Biden love their pearls too?

Do you have pearls? Do you know much about them? Try this. Place a strand of pearls in direct sunlight. All-natural pearls will not be perfectly matched. The sun will allow you to see the differences in the color, shape and size. There are essentially three types of pearls: natural, cultured and imitation. A natural pearl (often called an Oriental pearl) forms when an irritant, such as a piece of sand, works its way into a particular species of oyster, mussel, or clam

Akoya Pearl Oyster

Akoya Cultured Pearls

Akoya cultured pearls are the most familiar type of saltwater cultured pearl to most people in the U.S and other western markets. Many customers think of white or cream colored akoyas as the classic pearl used for jewelry, especially single-strand necklaces. Japan and China both produce akoya cultured pearls.

South Sea Cultured Pearls

Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are leading sources of these saltwater cultured pearls. South Sea cultured pearls can be white to silver or golden, depending on the type of oyster. Their large size and thick nacre, due to a long growth period, plus their limited critical growing conditions are all factors contributing to their value.

Tahitian Cultured Pearls

Cultivated primarily around the islands of French Polynesia (the most familiar of these is Tahiti). These saltwater cultured pearls, sometimes referred to as black pearls, have a wide color range. They might be gray, black or brown, and they can have blue, green, purple or pink overtones.

Freshwater Cultured Pearls

Freshwater cultured pearls are the most commonly produced pearls and they are one of the most popular pearl types among shoppers and jewelry designers. This is due to their remarkable range of sizes, shapes and colors, plus their commercial availability at lower price points. They are usually cultured in freshwater lakes and ponds, often with many pearls grown in one oyster. China is the leading source for freshwater cultured pearls. One type of cultured pearl is Baroque which are often jumbo sized and are not always symmetrical, can be quite "wrinkly" in appearance and have uneven color. Baroque pearls are for the modern woman who wants to make a statement. They’re also perfect for anyone who loves the quirky and unique. The word ‘baroque’ comes from the Portuguese term barroco which meant imperfect, coarse or uneven pearl

* these facts from from the Gem Institute of America and Pearl Wise

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published