Different Colored Pearls

Different Types of Pearl

If you are searching for a piece of pearl jewelry, you might find it a bit daunting at first. You will come across terminology like cultured, natural, saltwater and many others. This might make it hard and confusing at first. To help this article will give you some background information that explains the common types of pearls.

Natural Pearls

These are pearls that are formed in a natural way without human influence. Natural pearls are made by chance in nature as an outcome of an irritant becoming stuck in the tissue of a pearl bearing mollusk. Since the shape of the pearl is influenced by the shape of the irritant, finding a perfectly round natural pearl is very rare. Because of this, the majority of pearls sold these days are cultured pearls, where the features and creation of the pearl are influenced as well as controlled by human.

Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls are usually the same to natural pearls apart from how they begin. In cultured pearls, instead of forming unexpectedly, a pearl farmer put in an irritant into a pearl bearing mollusk which causes the structure of the pearl. The rest of the procedure of the actual development of the pearl is similar to the natural pearl. Of course, by means of controlling the irritant, farmer can influence the size, shape, as well as color of the pearl formed. If there’s anything which can distinguish cultured pearl from natural pearl, it is that cultured pearls are consistently round, and match better compared to natural pearls. Of course culturing pearls has made pearl ownership fall in the reach of everyone.

Freshwater Pearls

These kinds of pearls are grown in freshwater lakes and rivers.  Freshwater pearls are very popular as there are a reasonable genuine pearl which is very durable. These pearls can be either cultured or natural, even if the majority of the market is cultured. The only flaw of freshwater pearls is that they usually don’t share similar luster or perfect roundness as the saltwater pearls.

Saltwater Pearls

These pearls are grown in saltwater, oceans and seas. These are usually more valuable than most other types of pearls as of their beauty and luster. One popular saltwater is the Tahitian saltwater. This can be either cultured or natural, even if almost all of the market is cultured.  

Tahitian pearls are made in the black lipped oyster in and around French Polynesian Islands. This black lipped oyster is considered one of the biggest pearls producing mollusks, and therefore the size of the resulting Tahitian pearls is bigger compared to Akoya pearls. This kind of pearl is also much darker compared to other saltwater pearls, and naturally occur in a variety of colors, often touted as black, even if a true black pearl is relatively rare. Most have hues of other shades, normally green.

There are many types of pearls available out there, so make sure to know each one when buying in order to get the best and high quality one.