Pearl Types

Pearl Types: A Detailed Guide to the Different Types of Pearls

Pearls come in a beautiful variety of types, each with its unique characteristics, colors, and shapes. The primary distinction between pearls lies in their origins: freshwater and saltwater. Within these categories, there are specific types of pearls like Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls. Let's explore these pearl types in more detail.


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Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are cultivated in lakes, rivers, and ponds. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them a popular and versatile choice for jewelry. Freshwater pearls are typically more affordable than saltwater pearls due to their abundance and the fact that a single mollusk can produce multiple pearls at once.

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Akoya Pearls

Akoya pearls are a type of saltwater pearl cultivated primarily in Japan and China. They are known for their perfectly round shape, exceptional luster, and classic white or cream color, often with a subtle rose or silver overtone. Akoya pearls range in size from 2mm to 11mm, with the most popular sizes being between 6mm and 8mm.

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Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian pearls, also known as "black pearls," are cultivated in the French Polynesian islands. These pearls are unique because of their exotic colors, ranging from dark green, gray, and blue to silver, purple, and peacock. Tahitian pearls are typically larger than Akoya pearls, with sizes ranging from 8mm to 18mm. Their shapes can vary from round to baroque, making them perfect for creating distinctive, eye-catching jewelry.

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White & Golden South Sea Pearls

White & Golden South Sea pearls are cultivated in the waters of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are considered the most valuable and luxurious of all pearl types due to their large size, thick nacre, and satiny luster. As the name suggests, South Sea pearls come in a range of colors, including white and gold. Their sizes typically range from 9mm to 20mm, making them the largest of all pearl types.

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White South Sea Pearl

Being one of the rarest varieties of pearls, these uniue and beautiful pearls are highly sought after. It can sometimes take several years to grow a Pinctada Maxima big enough to harvest. Also, because of their high demand, it is quite common for South Sea Pearls to sell for thousands of dollars per gram. The White South Sea Pearl has always been more valuable than the Gold South Sea Pearl, except for in some cases.

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In Conclusion

Understanding the different types of pearls is essential when selecting pearl jewelry. From the classic elegance of Akoya pearls to the luxurious beauty of White & Golden South Sea pearls, each type offers its unique characteristics and charm. By appreciating these differences, you can choose the perfect pearl to match your style, preferences, and budget.

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