Pearls have been prized since the beginning of human civilization. Beyond their historical and cultural significance, pearls are often used to symbolize love and purity. Due to pearls’ unique formation process, appearance, and use in jewelry, there are many different kinds of pearls.
Different pearl types
Natural vs. Cultured
Around two dozen varieties of mollusks naturally produce pearls. Pearls produced through human assistance are considered cultured, as opposed to natural pearls, which form naturally on their own.
Akoya pearls come from the coasts of Japan and China and typically range from 4 to 8 millimeters in diameter. Round and near round akoya pearls are most common. Akoya pearls are typically white or cream colored, but can also be pink, yellow, blue and gray, and frequently have pink or green overtones.
South Sea pearls are the rarest and most expensive pearls and originate in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. South Sea pearls can grow to be up to 18 millimeters and can be white, cream, silver, golden-yellow, pink or blue. Their luster is satiny instead of glossy. These pearls are frequently circular in shape with parallel ridges.
These striking pearls are found in French Polynesia and New Zealand. These pearls can be as large as South Sea pearls, frequently have spherical shapes, and feature metallic luster. Tahitian pearls can be silver, golden-yellow, bronze, copper, red, pistachio green, or deep purple colored with striking overtones.
Freshwater pearls are the most affordable pearls and come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Streams, rivers, and lakes in China, Japan, and the United States are the main sources for these pearls.