Pearl Types: 5 Main Ones for You to Choose From

August 11, 2017 by Kiesha Joseph

If you’re ready to invest in some classic pearl jewelry, you’ll discover that there are a few pearl types available to choose from. There are five kinds of cultured pearls available to consumers: Akoya, Tahitian, Freshwater, White and Golden South Seas pearls, and Sea of Cortez. Read on to learn more about these different types of pearls:

Akoya pearls

This pearl type is cultured in China, Japan, and Vietnam. They are perfectly round and white and very shiny. When you picture pearls in your mind, this is likely the type that you are picturing. They can range from two to nine millimeters.

Tahitian pearls

Tahitian pearls have a unique dark color, ranging from a pale gray to nearly black. They shimmer with overtones of green and blue. They are almost always sold in their natural color and receive no treatment other than washing and buffing. They’re farmed on the French Polynesian islands and average nine to 13 millimeters in size. However, Tahitian pearls are rarely perfectly round – they’re usually in more baroque pearl shapes.

Freshwater pearls

These pearls come from China and are available in a wide range of pearl colors, shapes, and sizes. They can naturally be produced in pastel shades of pink, lavender, and peach, and are also often dyed brighter colors. They can be as large as 15 millimeters.

White and Golden South Sea pearl types

The largest pearls on the market are South Sea pearls, which are cultured along the northern coast of Australia. They come in beautiful shades of gold and white, and average 9 to 15 millimeters. They tend to have the thickest layer of nacre of any pearl type, which makes them appear more satiny than other pearl types.

Sea of Cortez type of pearls

There is only one pearl farm that creates Sea of Cortez pearls. It’s located in Guaymas, Mexico and only produces about 4,000 pearls per year. They are of a similar color to Tahitian pearls, but they have overtones that are more intense. They do not receive any treatment other than being washed and scrubbed.

Each of these pearl types is beautiful in its own way, and you can’t go wrong choosing any of them. You might want to buy a classic Akoya pearl necklace or a unique Tahitian pearl bracelet. You’ll just need to consider your personal style and which pearl variety best fits for you. Whichever type of pearl you choose, we’re confident you’ll love your new pearl jewelry.