The Beauty of The Pearl
The pearl is unique and has its own character, and colour is one of them. The colour of the pearl is often influenced by the colour of the pearl oyster's lip or inner shell. For example, the golden South Sea pearl comes from the yellow-lipped oyster, and the white South Sea pearl comes from the silver-lipped Pinctada Maxima.
Whether it comes in a light or dark body colour, each pearl has different overtones on its surface. The combination of these factors makes the gemstone so fascinating that no pearl lover can resist!
The Basic Components
The body colour of a pearl is the primary colour and is the most prominent when looking at the pearl. The body colour can vary depending on the type of pearl and the conditions under which it was formed. White, yellow, orange, lavender and grey are the most common shades of pearl body colour. These colours can range from pale and subtle to deep and vibrant.
Overtone is a transparent layer of color that overlays the body color of a pearl. It is a translucent sheen that shimmers on the surface of the pearl when light falls on it. The overtone of a pearl can greatly affect its overall appearance and add depth and dimension to the pearl.
Some of the most common overtones of pearls are rose, silver and cream. Rose overtones are known for their soft, romantic colour and are often associated with love and femininity. Silver coloured pearls are known for their cool, shimmering colour and are often used for modern or sophisticated jewellery designs. Cream shades are known for their soft, warm colour and are often used in classic or traditional jewellery designs.
Orient, also known as iridescence, is the play of colours produced on the surface of a pearl by the reflection, refraction and scattering of light. It is an optical phenomenon that makes the pearl shimmer and change colour when it moves or the light changes.
Orient occurs only in pearls with thick nacre, the substance that makes up the outer layers of the pearl. Pearls with thick nacre are known for their exceptional lustre and durability and are often highly prized for these qualities. The orient of a pearl can be a subtle combination of colours such as pink, silver, green or blue and can shimmer like the rainbow on a soap bubble.
Types of Pearls Colours
White pearls are highly prized for their simple elegance and versatility. They are known to match almost all skin tones and blend easily into any jewellery design. There are three types of pearls that are naturally white: South Sea pearls, Akoya pearls and freshwater pearls. South Sea pearls are renowned for their high quality, while Akoya pearls are small and lustrous with beautiful pink overtones. Freshwater pearls are cultivated in freshwater mussels and come in a wide range of colours and shapes, including white.
White South Sea Pearl
The body colour of white South Sea pearls is bright, cool white. The most common overtone in these pearls is silver, which gives the pearl a slight white sheen. However, it is also possible for white South Sea pearls to have a rose overtone, a soft shade of pink that is considered the rarest overtone for these pearls. Another possible overtone for white South Sea pearls is cream or ivory, which gives the pearl a hint of warm yellow.
White Akoya Pearl
The body colour of white Akoya pearls is generally cool white, with some pearls having a faint green or blue undertone. The most common overtone for white Akoya pearls is rose, which is a soft pink. Other possible overtones for white Akoya pearls include silver, which gives the pearl a bright white shimmer, and cream or ivory, which gives the pearl a touch of warm yellow.
White Freshwater Pearl
White freshwater pearls are known for their warm white body colour. The most common overtone in these pearls is cream or ivory, which gives the pearl a hint of warm yellow. Other possible overtones include rose and silver, which gives the pearl a bright white shimmer.
Black pearls are highly prized by jewellery designers for their unique, iridescent overtones and their ability to add a touch of mystery to any piece of jewellery. They are popular with both men and women and can be worn for a variety of occasions, from formal occasions to casual events. Natural black pearls are found in French Polynesia and are also known as Tahitian pearls. They are known for their rich, dark hues and beautiful overtones. Black Akoya and freshwater pearls, on the other hand, are not naturally black and must undergo a colour treatment to achieve their darker hues.
Black Tahitian Pearl
The body colour of black Tahitian pearls ranges from pale silver-grey to charcoal grey and may also have a grey-green hue. Some Tahitian pearls are almost black in colour. The most common overtone for black Tahitian pearls is silver, which ranges from light silver to metallic steel. Other possible overtones for these pearls are green, which can range from soft to dark green, and blue-green. The rarest overtone for black Tahitian pearls is peacock, a combination of pink, purple and gold on a green body colour.
Black Akoya Pearl
The body colour of black Akoya pearls is achieved by colour treatment or dyeing and is usually almost jet black. The most common overtone for black Akoya pearls is midnight blue. Another possible overtone for these pearls is green-black.
Black Freshwater Pearl
The body colour of black freshwater pearls is achieved through color treatment or dyeing and can range from dark blue to almost jet black. The most common overtone for black freshwater pearls is green, which can range from blue-green to peacock green (multicoloured). Other possible overtones for these pearls are copper, which can range from bronze to chocolate, and violet.
The golden pearl is known for its luxurious touch and is popular with pearl collectors who can choose between different shades of gold. Natural gold pearls are cultured in the South Seas, with the Philippines being the main producer of intense golden pearls, followed by Indonesia and Myanmar for other shades of gold. Golden pearls are prized for their unique, warm colour and their ability to add a touch of glamour and elegance to any piece of jewellery. They are a versatile gemstone that can be worn in a variety of settings and are often presented as gifts on special occasions or as an expression of love and appreciation.
Golden South Sea Pearl
The body colour of golden South Sea pearls ranges from intense gold (24k) to gold (14k, 18k, 22k). The most common overtone for these pearls is champagne, which is a light gold colour with silver and rose tones. Another possible overtone for golden South Sea pearls is neutral gold.
Golden Akoya Pearl
The body colour of golden Akoya pearls ranges from light yellow to near gold. The most common overtone of these pearls is silver, with some pearls having a silver-blue or silver-green sheen. Other possible overtones for golden Akoya pearls are rose and neutral gold.
Blue pearls are among the rarest of all pearl colours and are highly prized for their unique beauty. Whether light sky blue or dark midnight blue, these gemstones are one-of-a-kind and can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any piece of jewellery. Among the few types of pearls that produce blue pearls with natural body colours or overtones are Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea pearls. Overall, blue pearls are a rare and luxurious gemstone, prized for its unique colour and natural lustre, and a versatile gemstone that can be worn in a variety of settings.
Blue Akoya Pearl
The body colour of blue Akoya pearls ranges from light grey-blue to sky blue. The overtones of these pearls can be aquamarine (light blue), violet (pale purple), silver (soft tint of silver ) and green (light to bright green). These overtones are achieved through natural processes and add a unique, shimmering quality to the pearls.
Blue Tahitian Pearl
The body colour of blue Tahitian pearls ranges from pastel grey to charcoal grey. The overtones of these pearls include blue, which ranges from pale sky blue to midnight blue, and teal, a vivid blue-green hue.
Lavender is one of the natural colours of freshwater pearl. They are known for their unique and vibrant colour, ranging from sweet pastel to romantic deep lavender tones. These gemstones are produced by freshwater pearl mussels in lakes or ponds in China and are highly sought after for their beautiful colour and natural lustre. Lavender freshwater pearls are a versatile gemstone that can be worn for a variety of occasions, from formal occasions to casual events. Because of their unique colour, they are often used in jewellery designs and are popular with pearl collectors and art lovers alike.
Lavender Freshwater Pearl
The body colour of lavender freshwater pearls ranges from pale purple to deep lavender and sometimes appears as a dark purple hue. The overtones of these pearls can include cooler tones such as silver, green and aquamarine as well as warmer shades like rose and gold. These overtones are achieved through natural processes and add a unique, shimmering quality to the pearls.
Pink and Orange Pearls
Pink and orange freshwater pearls are cultured in freshwater pearl mussels, along with various donor shells to produce these colours. These pearls typically have delicate pastel shades of pink and orange, or a pinkish-orange or peach colour. They are popular with pearl lovers of all ages because of their beautiful, feminine colours. Pink and orange freshwater pearls are a versatile gemstone that can be worn for many different occasions, both formal and casual. Because of their unique and vibrant colour, they are often chosen for jewellery designs and are highly prized by pearl collectors and art lovers.
Pink Freshwater Pearl
The body colour of pink freshwater pearls ranges from a soft pastel pink to a deep pink and can sometimes appear almost pale purple. The overtones of these pearls can include a warm pink tone (rose), a light to strong gold tone (sometimes appearing near bronze) and a pale baby blue (aquamarine).
Orange Freshwater Pearl
The body colour of orange freshwater pearls ranges from a pale orange shade to a darker apricot colour. The overtones for these pearls can include a light to deep yellow (gold), a warm tint of pink (rose) and a light baby blue.
Multi-coloured pearls, also known as mixed-colour pearls, that come in a variety of colors and shades. These pearls are often used in necklaces that contain more than one colour of pearl, either the same type or a mixture of different pearl types. The colour combinations of multi-coloured pearls can be sweet and delicate, luxurious and elegant or mysterious and edgy, depending on the colours and shades used. These pearls are a good choice for pearl lovers who want to express their unique style and personality through their jewellery.
Multi-Colour South Sea Pearl
Multi-coloured South Sea pearls are a beautiful and luxurious choice for pearl lovers. The most classic combination is a necklace of white and golden South Sea pearls. However, some people prefer to mix in other types of pearls such as Tahitian or freshwater pearls to create a more eye-catching and unique piece of jewellery. South Sea pearls are known for their strong lustre and thick nacre layer, which adds to their natural beauty and durability. These pearls are prized for their unique colours and overtones, which can range from pale pastels to deep, vibrant shades.
Multi-Colour Akoya Pearl
Multi-coloured Akoya pearls are a popular choice for pearl collectors and jewellery lovers of all ages. These pearls are known for their delicate pastel colours, which can range from pale pink and lavender to pale green and sky blue. The colour combinations for Akoya pearl necklaces often consist of different shades within the pastel colours range, creating a soft and romantic look. Akoya pearls are known for their high lustre and round to almost round shape, which adds to their natural beauty and versatility. These pearls are prized for their unique colours and overtones, which can range from pale pastels to deep, vibrant shades.
Multi-Colour Tahitian Pearl
Multi-coloured Tahitian pearls are famous among jewellery designers as well as collectors because of the wide range of colours and overtones available. From deep, rich shades of black and greys to pale pastels like pinks and lavenders, Tahitian pearls offer a wide range of colour options to choose from. The iridescent overtones of Tahitian pearls, which can range from greens and blues to pinks and purples, add an extra layer of interest and depth to these gemstones. Combining different colours and overtones in a Tahitian pearl necklace can create a striking and unique piece of jewellery that is sure to catch the eye. Even a beginner can make an interesting and stylish necklace with Tahitian pearls.
Multi-Colour Freshwater Pearl
Freshwater pearls are known for their wide variety of colours, making them a popular choice for multi-coloured pearl necklaces. A combination of pastel shades such as pink, orange, pale lavender and cream can make a beautiful and delicate necklace. These soft shades are perfect for those who prefer a subtle and feminine look. On the other hand, a mix of bolder colours such as deep purple, dark pink and rich orange can make a bold and daring necklace. The versatility of freshwater pearls allows for endless colour combinations, making it easy to find the perfect combination for every style and preference.
More About Pearl Colours
In conclusion, pearls come in a wide range of colours, each with its own unique symbolism and meaning. From classic white and black to bright pink and orange, there is a pearl colour to suit every style and preference. No matter which colour you choose, pearls are a timeless and elegant addition to any jewellery collection. If you want to learn more about the meaning of the different pearl colours, check out our blog now!