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Types of Cultured Pearls

Have you ever gotten crossed-eyed from all of the terms associated with pearls these days? Not to mention having to determine the differences between them. Today, pearls are considered one of the most versatile gems of all time. Thanks to the different culturing techniques, the world of pearls occur in a wide variety of colors. Buyers can get lost in the process of selecting the pearls best suited for them, because buying pearls aren't just about buying the prettiest or biggest.

Akoya Pearls

Akoya Pearls White Pearl Color

Akoya pearls are perfectly round, sparkling and lustrous white pearls that are sure to amaze. Akoya pearls are the classic white pearls that are farmed in Japanese and Chinese ocean waters, have the highest luster and has the greatest shine of all cultured pearls. Any time you see a traditional single-strand pearl necklace, it's most likely strung with Akoya cultured pearls. Akoya pearls have been cultured since the early 20th century, making it affordable for many women.

  • Sizes: Typical Akoya pearls range from 5 mm to 11 mm, with the 10 and 11 mm sizes rare finds. The most common size and the best value is between 7.0mm - 7.5mm with a sharp jump at anything 8.0mm and above.
  • Colors: White or cream, possibly black once treated.
  • Common Overtones: Rose, Cream or Ivory
  • Pearl Origin: China, Japan
  • Mollusk Type: Pinctada fucata

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Akoya Pearls: Best Sellers

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater Pearls Multicolor Pearl Color

Pearls for the fashion forward. Originally marketted as the lesser quality and inexpensive alternatives to Akoya pearls, Freshwater pearls have now emerged as rivals to Akoya pearls in both quality and value. Since the 1990s, a new class of round and lustrous freshwater pearls have emerged giving buyers the widest range of options in size, shape and color. Freshwater pearls come from freshwater mussels and are primarily produced in China.

  • Sizes: Freshwater pearls range from 2.0 mm to 15.0. They have the widest size range of any pearl type.
  • Colors: White or cream, possibly black once treated.
  • Common Overtones: Rose, Cream or Ivory
  • Pearl Origin: China, India, Australia
  • Mollusk Type: Hyriopsis cumingii, or hybrid

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Freshwater Pearls: Best Sellers

Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian Pearls Black Pearl Color

Black Tahitian pearls are vibrant, rare black pearls from French Polynesia, unmistakable and simply unforgetable. Tahitians, once upon a time, were so rare that they were considered the "Pearl of Queens". They are highly sought after because of their larger size, brilliant luster, and round shapes. Tahitian Pearls come from the warm waters of the South Sea and are grown in a Black-Lipped oyster.

  • Sizes: Most range between 8 mm and 21 mm.
  • Colors: They appear in shades of brown, gray, blue, green and purple.
  • Common Overtones: Silver/Steel, Blue-Green, Peacock
  • Pearl Origin: Cultivated primarily around the islands of French Polynesia.
  • Mollusk Type: Pinctada margaritifera

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Tahitian Pearls: Best Sellers

South Sea Pearls

South Sea Pearls Golden Color Pearls

South Sea pearls are large and luminous White and Golden pearls. Being the most rare and sought after, South Sea pearls are known for their incredible size and beautiful satin lustre. South Sea pearls are saltwater pearls that are cultivated from the oyster, found centering on Northern Australia and South-East Asia, including Myanmar and Indonesia.

  • Sizes: Ranges typically 8 mm to 20 mm, averaging 13 mm/
  • Colors: White, Cream, Silver
  • Common Overtones: Pink, Green, Blue
  • Pearl Origin: Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines are leading sources of these saltwater cultured pearls.
  • Mollusk Type: Pinctada maxima

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South Sea Pearls: Best Sellers

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