All Pearls commercially produced today are cultured pearls.
This includes cultured freshwater pearls !
The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but also comes in many other shapes, oval ,round ,near round , button, drop pear shape , semi barouque , barouque can occur too.
Types of Pearls
Natural extremely rare. you may be able to purchase small, natural pearls, but they will be costly.
Cultured grown in pearl farms , can be found in saltwater and in freshwater too.
Fresh water grown in freshwater rivers and lakes mostly in China. (cream/white in color) many resemble the akoya in color and shape but also comes in other pastel colors and shapes.
Salt water includes:
- Akoya cultured pearls grown in Japanese and Chinese waters,
size range 2-10mm ,(cream,white in color) - round shape
- South sea pearl grown in Australia, Indonesia & Philippines waters,
size range 9- 20mm (white,cream,golden in color)
- Tahitian pearls grown in several islands of French Polynesia incl.Tahiti,
size range 8-16mm , (grey, blue, green, purple or black in color)
There are 7 factors that affect the pearl value;
Almost all real pearls you see today are cultured...historically, manywere found in the Persian Gulf.
Both cultured and natural pearls are real pearls.
How are They grown ?
They are grown from pearl-bearing oysters in either saltwater or freshwater. The pearl formation process is exactly
the same for both natural and cultured pearls, they are formed when a mollusk produces layers of nacre around some type of irritant inside its shell.
In natural pearls, the irritant may be another organism from the water.
In cultured pearls, a mother-of-pearl bead or a piece of tissue is inserted (by man) into the mollusk to start the process.