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Different Types of Pearls

Published on Sep 14, 2016

Pearl is synonym for beauty & wisdom. That's why we often use them to describe something flawless and strikingly beautiful. But do you know that there are a number of varieties of pearls, and I am not sure which pearl are we referring you when someone says "a pearl of great price" or "a pearl of wisdom". Let's educate ourselves on the types of pearls and give an image to all these idioms/sayings we keep hearing. We have natural pearls and cultured pearls , which can be found in freshwater or saltwater. A number of combination among these create a variety of pearls.

1. Freshwater Pearls

Origin: US and China

Freshwater pearls are usually cultured in lakes and ponds of freshwater in the area of US and China. There are very many factors which make freshwater pearls invaluable.

They come in a variety of shapes, most popular of them being the baroque shape. Baroque shaped pearls are popular among modern day jewellery designers which tend to take a diversion from conventional jewellery designs.
These can be found in a wide range of colours. From elegant black to sweet pink and perfectly white, you just have to name it.
They exhibit satin-like lustre which is also believed to be a unique selling point of freshwater pearls.

2. South Sea Pearls

Origin: The islands of French Polynesia

The golden pearls seem like tears of angels from heaven. That's how I look at these beautiful saltwater South Sea Pearls. It will not be incorrect to think that the jewellery made with South Sea pearl is a statement on its own. Why South Sea pearls are invaluable?
They are some of the largest pearls available in the market right now. The size of a South Sea pearl can go up to 20mm, which is untouched by any other type.
With the thickest nacre among other varieties, South Sea pearls become one of the most sought after pearls.
South Sea pearls are golden and white and their lustre reflects a unique inner glow.

3. Tahitian Pearls

Origin: Indonesia and Australia

Spectacular and awe-inspiring, this is how Tahitian pearls in their metallic glow look to me. Cultured around the islands of French Polynesia, around Tahiti, these pearls are as beautiful as these islands.

What makes these saltwater Tahitian Pearls magnificent?

They are undoubtedly unique pertaining to their metallic tint. The colour of this variety ranges from stunning metallic silver to the colour of pure graphite with overtones of cold blues to warm purples and exotic greens.
The percentage of finding a flawlessly shaped round Tahitian pearl is high (40%) which makes them ideal for jewellery making in the industry.
These pearls are available in unheard and exotic pistachio, silver, and peacock colours.

4. Akoya Pearls

Origin: Japan and China

These pearls are considered to be the most beautiful. They are white, lustrous and perfectly round. Need I say more? Let's see what makes these saltwater pearls stand out.

As mentioned above, Akoya pearls are typically nucleated with beautiful round beads. But, surpriseS don't end here; drop shaped Akoya pearls are extremely valuable for jewellery making.
Their lustre is unmatchable. Akoya pearls are so perfect that they can reflect light.
Pertaining to their shape and lustre, these pearls are most sought after for dying. In fact, black dyed Akoya pearls are becoming a competition for Tahitian pearls.

5. Keshi Pearls

Origin: Japan and China

They don't have a nucleus and they are first produced by accident. This type of pearls already sounds quite special to me. An interesting fact about these particular type of pearls is that initially these were the by-products of Akoya pearl cultivation. Let's count down why and why makes them so valuable.

Keshi pearls are shapeless. They are in huge demand for creative jewellery making because of their shape.
A Keshi pearl is formed when the irritant is rejected, but layers of nacre are still deposited. These like a gooey and lustrous pebbles.
These appear in the size of only a few millimetres, which makes them ideal for intricate creative jewellery designing.

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