The Online Guide to Different Kinds of Pearls September 24 2015, 0 Comments

Whoever said that 'diamonds are a girl's best friend' obviously didn't understand your love for pearls. Sure, diamonds look gorgeous, but you consider yourself a pearl person. You don't leave your home unless your outfit includes something with pearls on it. And when your friends and family members need to buy a present for you, they think of pearls first.

That being said, you would like a little more variety in your pearl collection. You've decided that you want to branch out from off white or stark white, and you want to opt for something more lustrous, colourful and unique. Use the guide below to find the perfect pearls to add to your collection. The world contains many different pearl varieties, so as long as you know what to look for, you can find a special piece that complements your personal style. 

  1. Akoya Pearls
    The Akoya variety come from the Pinctada fucata oyster in Japan. The oysters then secrete a substance called nacre over the beads, and that nacre hardens and turns the beads into what you recognise as pearls. Akoya pearls look like the classic set you'd see on vintage jewellery. They range from warm cream to bright white, and they can have a rosy or golden lustre.
  1. Tahitian Pearls
    As the name suggests, Tahitian pearls come from Tahiti and surrounding waters. They come from a much larger oyster, the Pinctada margaritifera, so they often reach larger sizes. The nacre produced by these pearls is grey/black in color. As a result, Tahitian pearls have a more dramatic colour scheme than their counterparts. Their colour range includes:
  • Black
  • Dark silver
  • Dark blue
  • Dark purple
  • Dark green

  Each colour comes with a striking metallic sheen.

  1. Freshwater Pearls
    Freshwater pearls are cultivated along the same lines as traditional pearls, however they are cultivated in a fresh water muscle rather than an salt water oyster.  The muscle is able to take multiple inplants at any given time allowing for larger productions and therefore a more inexpensive pearl.

    Over the last few years the Chinese have perfected the freshwater process and are producing round pearls similar to the Japanese and South Sea Akoya pearls. In general they still do not have the same inner beauty and sheen of the salt water pearls.

    Freshwater pearls can come in naturally occurring colours like peach, lavender and rose.
  1. South Sea Pearls
    South Sea pearls come from the Pinctada maxima oyster in Australian, Indonesia, the Philippines and other areas with warm seas.These pearls have an exceptional lustre, a more impressive size and a singular smoothness. Their striking colours also include silver, white, cream and gold.
  1. Abalone Pearls
    The pearls from an abalone shell don't really count as pearls, but abalones form them using a similar process as oysters, and jewellers use them in the same way. These pearls make a stunning addition to your collection because of their colour. They usually come in jewel-bright blues and greens. Other varieties may also give you reds, violets and pinks.

Use the list to find new kinds of pearls for your wardrobe. If you have any additional questions about unique pearls, contact a jeweller in your area.