There are many types of Pearls available for creating Beautiful Pearl Jewelry Designs. Although most of our jewelry is made from Freshwater and Akoya Pearls, below you will find information on various Pearls.
Freshwater Cultured Pearls… Although originally produced in Japan, 90% of the world’s Freshwater Pearls now come from China. Most grow in sizes from 2.0 to 5.0 mm and are irregularly shaped. However, with improved farming techniques, China now produces round white Freshwater Pearls in sizes up to 9.5mm. Unlike other Pearls, Freshwater Pearls typically do not come from an oyster at all. In China, most Pearls are farmed in varieties of freshwater mussels.
Mabe’ Cultured Pearls…Mabe’ Cultured Pearls are a unique gift of Nature. Formed on the inside of the shell, rather than inside the body of the oyster. These pearls have a beauty and grace all their own. In the culturing process, a shaped bit of oyster mantel tissue is placed on the inside lip of the host shell. The oyster gradually coats this foreign tissue, slowly forming a “blister” of lustrous nacre. Once removed, the blister is usually backed with mother of pearl before setting. This type of Pearl culturing was one of the earliest forms of the art.
Akoya Cultured Pearls…Pearls have been an object of desire from the first days of human society. Pearls were treasured not only for their rare beauty but as symbols of harmony, purity, and wisdom. The exotic, lustrous skin of Pearls, smooth and silky to the hand and eye, embodies all that is feminine. Pearls are truly a gift of the sea. Born from the Pinctada fucata martensii oyster, Akoya Pearls are what people typically imagine when thinking of a pearl. They are primarily farmed in salt water through central and southern Japan and along the coast of China.
Tahitian Cultured Pearls…often called “Black Pearls” are found in the turquoise-colored lagoons of French Polynesia in the South Seas. A jewel of the sea and a living symbol of purity and perfection, Tahitian pearls have long had a reputation of exceptional value and rarity. Tahitian Cultured Pearls are born from the black-lipped oyster, known scientifically as Pinctada margaritifera.
South Sea Cultured Pearls…Today, the South Sea cultured pearl is the most sought after of all, larger and more lustrous than other varieties, the most rare and therefore the most desirable. Luster is the most important determination of pearl quality. Luster is derived from the pearl’s countless thick layers of pearl nacre. It is the nacre of a pearl that causes light to be refracted, giving each pearl its unique lustrous appearance.
Pearls…one of the most prized of gems!