Types of Cultured Pearls - How to Buy Pearls

Today, we'd like to help you find the right pearls for you! We're going to do so by discussing the different cultured pearl types. We believe that learning about the various types of pearls will help you to pinpoint the perfect cultured pearls, whether you want to invest in a cultured pearl necklace, bracelet, ring or earrings, or all of the above! Without further ado, let's discuss the types of pearls which are out there in the marketplace. All are beautiful and all have their own properties.

Basic Facts About Cultured Pearls
Cultured pearls are pearls which are made by oyster farmers. During the production of these pearls, conditions are tightly controlled. These pearls are farmed via a couple of types of bivalve mollusks. These two types are saltwater pearl oysters and freshwater river mussels.

The five main categories of cultured pearls are White, Golden South Seas, Freshwater, Sea of Cortez, Tahitian and Akoya. Each pearl has distinctive characteristics which we are going to share with you shortly! Once you learn about the characteristics of each type of cultured pearl, you'll be able to make a wise and informed decision when it's time to invest in some cultured pearls of your own.

Discover the Magic of Akoya Pearls
These pearls have perfect spherical shapes. They are pure white and they shimmer. In fact, their luster is so mirror-bright as to be almost otherworldly. If you want the most traditional type of white pearls, you'll do well with Akoya cultured pearls.

Such pearls are cultivated via the Pinctada fucata martensil saltwater oyster. It's indigenous to the chillier waterways of the Pacific Ocean, which surrounds Japan and abuts Vietnam and China.

At present, these pearls are produced in Vietnam, Japan and China. Japan produces the most Akoya pearls and its also considered to produce the finest pearls of this type.
These pearls come in different sizes, from two to three millimeters up to nine or nine and a half millimeters. Occasionally, they will grow as large as ten millimeters. Most are white, but it's possible to find Akoya pearls which are golden in tone or silver-blue. Some pearl manufacturers dye these pearls black which then create a dramatic, blue-black hue.

Most are round and the most prized pearls of the Akoya type are generally perfectly spherical. However, there are Baroque pearls out there which are bona fide Akoya pearls.

In terms of price, expect to pay between seventy-five dollars to thousands of dollars for these pearls. The price will depend on which type of jewelry types you're investing in, as well as the quality and type of pearls that you choose. If you want the most exceptional quality, look for Akoya pearls which are described as "Hanadama" Akoya pearls which translates to "flower pearls".

Freshwater Pearls are Affordable Options
Freshwater pearls are cultured pearls which are cultivated within China. They come in a wide array of natural tones and an assortment of shapes and sizes, from round to free-form baroque and beyond.

These pearls cost less than saltwater cultured pearls, such as Akoyas, Tahitians and South Seas. They are produced in man-made Chinese freshwater ponds and lakes and may also be cultivated in natural waterways. Made via the freshwater pearl mussel known as the "triangle shell", these freshwater pearls are produced in much larger quantities than saltwater cultured pearls.

Did you know that 99.99 percent of these pearls are made in the freshwater lakes and aqua-culture farms of China? These pearls vary in size and may measure two to three millimeters up to eleven to twelve millimeters. It's possible to find styles which are as large as fourteen to fifteen millimeters. These designs come in a host of shades, there are pastel designs in lavender, peach, white and pink. There are also freshwater pearls which have been dyed in various colors such as gold, red, purple, green, pink, blue and inky black.

In terms of shapes, you'll be able to choose true round freshwater pearls, Baroque or symmetrical pearls. You can choose from styles which cost as little as thirty dollars or spend thousands in order to access freshwater pearl jewelry. How much you spend will depend on what you're buying and how high the quality of the freshwater pearls are.
These pearls are typically "tissue nucleated". This means that compact, one millimeter square pieces of tissue (donor mantle) will degrade and leave behind pearls which are almost one hundred percent composed of nacre which is crystalline and solid. These pearls look delicate, but they are very tough and hardy.

Treat Yourself to Tahitian Cultured Pearls
You've probably heard of cultured Tahitian pearls! They are world-renowned for their beauty and the best-known examples of these types of pearls are the natural black ones, which are saltwater pearls. Pearls of this type range in color from the palest gray to almost black. These gorgeous pearls are very iridescent and they offer tons of shimmer and luster. You'll find that they have interesting overtones with touches of teal, silver, cherry, gray and blue when the light hits these magical pearls.

These pearls are famed within French Polynesian atolls in the topics, as well as French Polynesian lagoons of the saltwater type. They are cultivated via the saltwater pearl oyster known as the Pinctada margaritafera. The oyster is known to grow up to twelve inches in diameter, the pearls produced by these big oysters are often the biggest pearls on earth!

Tahitian pearls will vary in size from eight to nine millimeters up to fifteen to sixteen millimeters. Typical sizes range from nine to thirteen millimeters, bigger pearls can measure fifteen millimeters and up, they are hard to find and fetch an extremely high price on the market.
Pearl oysters used to grow Tahitian pearls are referred to as Black Lip oysters and they produce a host of colored pearls, from pale grays to dark greys, with a variety of overtones, from Aubergine to Green to Peacock. Most black Tahitian pearls are naturally black, rather than being treated in order to deepen their color. Find Tahitian pearls in round sizes or Baroque, free-form shapes. There are also smooth baroque shapes and circled Baroque shapes.

Most pearls of the Tahitian type cost at least eighty dollars and some cost thousands of dollars. Plenty of variables will affect how much you pay for these types of pearls. The pearls can't be exported as Tahitian pearls unless they have .8 millimeter density or higher.

Are South Sea Pearls Right for You?
These pearls are often large and they are often sold as luxury pearls! South Sea pearls are sometimes referred to as "queen of pearls" and they come in an inspiring assortment of shades, from white to golden, with a host of shimmering overtones.
Pearls of this type are farmed via the saltwater oyster, Pinctada maxima, which may grow to twelve inches in diameter! This oyster is the biggest pearl producer used today. To create South Sea pearls, wild oysters are used to make stock for farms which are then released into the wild oceans again.

Usually, these pearls are cultivated along Australia's northern cost. One particular type of South Sea pearl, the Golden South Sea pearl, is cultivated mostly within the islands of The Phillipines. Average sizes for South Sea pearls vary from eight to nine millimeters to twenty millimeters. The most common size range is from nine millimeters to fifteen millimeters. It's hard to find South Sea pearls over fifteen millimeters and these larger pearls tend to cost a lot due to their rarity and beauty.

Most pearls of this type don't get treated, they are washed, buffed and then sold. They come in round shapes and circled, free-form and Baroque shapes. The round style is the most coveted.

When buying these pearls, anticipate paying as little as two hundred dollars or as much as tens of thousands of dollars, depending on jewelry type and South Sea pearl quality. These satiny pearls are very lovely!

Sea of Cortez Pearls are Striking
Pearls from the Sea of Cortez are produced in Guyamas, Mexico which is also known as the Gulf of California. These pearls are considered to be the world's rarest. They have a natural black tone and their depth and intensity of hue makes them very prized.

There is a sole form which cultivates these pearls. It produces only four thousand cultured pearls per annum, or even less. Styles produced include mabe pearls and whole pearls, sizes can vary from eight to nine millimeters up to eleven to twelve millimeters. 

The black pearls are grown in "rainbow lip" oysters and they produce beautiful lime, rose, mauve, pistachio, copper, green and blue-green pearls. The round shapes are the most rare while the most common shape is the symmetrical Baroque, sometimes you can see smooth drop shapes as well. Prices range from a couple of hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on certain variables.

Choose Your Preferred Pearls Today
Now that you know more about the different types of cultured pearls, why not choose a piece of jewelry which includes your favorite? When you invest in stunning pearls, you'll be able to highlight your natural beauty each and every time you wear them. Pearls have been worn for centuries and cultured pearls are so lovey to see, touch and wear. You deserve gorgeous cultured pearl jewelry.


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