Different Types of Pearls – Natural Pearls
Natural Pearls are formed when a foreign object, such as a small parasite, enters the mollusk and irritates the creature. The mollusk secretes a substance called nacre to coat the irritant, and over time, this coating builds up and forms a pearl. Natural pearls are very rare, and finding a pearl of high quality and large size is extremely uncommon. They are valuable because of their rarity and natural beauty.
Different Types of Pearls – Cultured Pearls
Cultured pearls are formed similarly to natural pearls but with the help of humans. A small bead or piece of tissue is inserted into the mollusk, and the creature secretes nacre to coat it. The pearl is then harvested after some time, usually a few years. Cultured pearls are more common and less expensive than natural pearls. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.
Different Types of Pearls – Freshwater Pearls
Freshwater pearls are cultured pearls grown in freshwater mussels. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors and are often less expensive than saltwater pearls. They are typical of a lower luster compared to saltwater pearls.
Different Types of Pearls – Saltwater Pearls
Saltwater pearls are cultured pearls grown in saltwater oysters. They are typically round or near-round in shape and come in various colors, including white, cream, gold, and pink. Saltwater pearls are generally considered higher quality than freshwater pearls due to their thicker nacre, which leads to a higher luster and durability.
Different Types of Pearls – Akoya Pearls
Akoya pearls are saltwater pearls grown in the Pinctada fucata oyster, which is found in the waters of Japan and China. They are typically white or cream-colored and range in size from 2mm to 10mm. Akoya pearls are known for their high luster and are considered classic.
Different Types of Pearls – Tahitian Pearls
Tahitian pearls are a type of saltwater pearl grown in the black-lipped Pinctada margaritifera oyster, found in the waters around French Polynesia. They are typically dark in color, such as black, gray, or green, and can range in size from 8mm to 20mm. They are considered to be exotic and unique.
Different Types of Pearls – South Sea Pearls
South Sea pearls are saltwater pearls grown in the Pinctada maxima oyster in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are typically white or golden and are the largest and most valuable type of pearl, with sizes ranging from 9mm to 20mm. They have the highest luster among all pearls and are known for their durability.
Different Types of Pearls – Baroque Pearls
A baroque pearl is a pearl that is irregular in shape and not perfectly round or symmetrical. “baroque” comes from the Italian word “Barocco,” which means irregular or misshapen. These pearls are formed naturally and are not a result of human intervention. They are considered unique and can have an organic, natural look.
They can be found in freshwater and saltwater and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Because of their natural and unique appearance, baroque pearls are often used in jewelry making, particularly in more artistic and bohemian designs. They are considered less valuable than round pearls due to their irregular shape.