When we talk about "pearls," we usually mean cultured pearls. Natural pearls are very rare, and according to experts, the chances of finding a pearl in a wild oyster are one in 10,000. Because of their rarity, beautiful natural pearls can only be seen at auctions, selling for high prices. This explains why cultured pearls are used in almost all pearl jewellery you see on the market today.
Many people ask if a cultured pearl is a real pearl. The answer is yes. The only difference between natural and cultured pearls is that natural pearls form naturally in the wild, while cultured pearls are intentionally created in a pearl farm by humans. Other than that, the process of pearl growth is the same.
The type of each pearl depends on which category it belongs to, that is, either salt water or fresh water.
- Produced by oysters in sea water (oceans, seas and gulfs).
- Each oyster produces only one pearl per harvest.
- The colours and overtones of the pearls are natural, except for the Akoya which needs bleaching treatment.
- Higher in price.
- Produced by mussels or clams in freshwater rivers, lakes or ponds.
- Each clam produces an average of 30 pearls per harvest.
- Wide variety of colours, but some pearls are dyed to produce a darker, more intense tone.
- Affordable price.
South Sea pearls are often called white or yellow saltwater pearls. Large silver or gold-lipped oysters produce these pearls, which are known for their exceptional quality and stunning lustre. These luxurious pearls are highly prized for their beauty and are often used in high-end jewellery. South Sea pearls are among the most sought-after pearls in the world due to their rarity and beauty.
Tahitian pearls, also known as black pearls, are popular for their natural dark colour with beautiful overtones. The black-lipped oyster produces these pearls, which are known for their unique colours, which can range from deep black to lighter shades of grey or green. Tahitian pearls are very popular in the world of jewellery design because of their uniqueness. These pearls are considered rare and exotic, and are often associated with mystery, power, and sophistication.
Freshwater pearls are cultured in freshwater mussels and are known for their wide variety of colours and shapes. They are often more affordable than other types of cultured pearls, making them a popular choice for those who want to add a touch of elegance to their jewellery collection. Freshwater pearls can range in colour from white to pink, purple, lavender and more, and are known for their unique, natural beauty. They are often used in a variety of jewellery designs, from classic strands of pearls to modern, trendy styles.
Explore More About Pearls
If you'd like to continue exploring the world of pearls, visit our pages on pearl colours and pearl shapes. There you'll find a wealth of information and beautiful examples of these different characteristics.