Types of Cultured Pearls

February 25, 2015 by Melissa

While purchasing pearls, the customer is presented with terms they aren’t always familiar with. South Sea, Tahitian, Freshwater, Akoya… What will all of these mean? To make a decision while purchasing pearls, it’s important that you know the differences in these kind of pearls and why some are pricier than other ones. Listed here include the different kinds of cultured pearls.

South Sea Pearls

The South Sea Pearls primarily are cultured inside the waters of Indonesia, Philippines, and Australia. Some mistakenly will involve pearls discovered from the waters of French Polynesia and Tahiti and refer to them as Black South Sea Pearls. Distinction between such pearls include the oyster they’re cultivated in. South Sea Pearls are cultured within the gold or silver-lipped pearl oyster. The South Sea Pearls color usually is silver or white colored, yet they also can come in shades of blue-gray or yellow with green or pink overtones.

Black South Sea Pearls or Tahitian Pearls

Occasionally called Black South Sea Pearls, ‘Tahitian pearls’ will be cultured in regions that stretch from the Cook Islands, eastward on through Tahiti to the Tuamotu Archipelago, as well as the Gambier Islands within French Polynesia. They’re grown within the Pinctada margaritifera (black lipped pearl oyster) discovered in the atolls of these regions. The shades produced widely vary from black, green, purple and colors from cream to gray and even white. The highly sought after and rarest shade includes ‘peacock green’ -greenish black shade of a peacock feather.

Japanese or Akoya Pearls

Possibly the most known name of a type of pearl from the Pinctada fucata martensil (Akoya oyster). Many akoya pearls still are produced in Japan yet now some also are grown on an expanding scale in India and China. Akoya pearl oyster will measure only 6 – 9 cm across – fewer than 50% the size of the silver-lipped pearl oyster from Australia. Smaller nuclei will be implanted; therefore, the resulting pearls will range from 2 – 10mm in diameter.

Freshwater Pearls

The Freshwater Pearls are tiny, occasionally irregularly shaped pearls grown in different freshwater mussel species. The shades range from white, lavender, bronze, black, gray, or pink.