Natural Pearls vs. cultured pearls
What you are looking for are Cultured Pearls. Unless of course, you are a Hollywood actor, a member of a nobility or a magnate in a large industry. Then maybe you want natural pearls.
All the pearls you see in jewelry stores, even the most exclusive ones, are cultured pearls. Natural pearls are often sold at auction and their price can reach exorbitant figures.
Natural saltwater pearls on display at the Hong Kong International Jewelry Fair
The confusion is simple, the expression "Natural Pearl" is wrongly used to clarify that it is not an imitation pearl, but that is not the true meaning of "Natural Pearl".
The natural pearls o wild they are found by oyster collectors, by chance. You have to open about 10.000 oysters to find a natural pearl of decent quality.
It is this scarcity that gives them their high price, not necessarily their beauty.
The cultured pearls they are pearls real which are grown inside real oysters or mussels at pearl farms in Japan, Australia, Indonesia, China and many other places, most of them in Asia.
Tahiti cultured pearl farm in French Polynesia
On the other hand, and this is where more confusion is created, some non-specialized jewelers call one of the different types that exist “Cultured Pearls”. In certain cases they call "cultured pearls" to the freshwater cultured pearls, and to the japanese akoyaor Australians "saltwater pearls"; In other cases, Japanese Akoya are called "Cultured Pearls", since they were the first pearls to start being cultivated.
The bottom line is that when buying pearls, what you are looking for are cultured pearls. The question is deciding what type of cultured pearls you are interested in.
Below is a brief description of the 4 main types of cultured pearls.
freshwater cultured pearls
If someone offers "cultured pearls" but it does not indicate the type of pearl, it is freshwater cultured pearls.
They are the most popular pearls today, thanks to their price and the number of shapes, sizes and colors available.
Freshwater cultured pearls can be pink, orange and purple as well as white, naturally, without any treatment.
Freshwater pearls used to be of very low quality twenty years ago, but today pearls are being produced that rival the best saltwater pearls in quality.
If you want to learn more about freshwater cultured pearls visit our article here!.
Japanese Akoya Cultured Pearls
When you think of the typical round white pearl, not very large and with a very intense shine, you are thinking of a pearl. Akoya.
The japanese pearls They stand out for their intense shine and their almost perfect round shape.
Historically they have been cultivated on the coasts of Japan, although they are now also cultivated on the coasts of China, however, the latter have a somewhat less intense brightness.
If you want to learn more about cultured pearls japanese akoya visit our article here!.
Strands of Japanese Akoya cultured pearls with a great shine.
Tahiti black pearls
Are unique "black" pearls For nature. It is important to understand that the term "black" is used to describe pearls of dark tones, including silver, gray, green, blue, brown and purple, not necessarily pure black.
Despite their name, they are not actually grown on Tahiti, but on nearby islands in saltwater "atolls" off French Polynesia and Fiji.
Tahitian pearls in one of the oysters that create them, the Pinctada Margaritifera.
They are large and exotic pearls that only 20 years ago were sold at very high prices. Today, with the increase in production, they can be found for a much cheaper price.
La "Queen of Gems" and the rarest of all cultured pearls. They are farmed in saltwater in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
They are large white or gold pearls with a deep silky sheen.
If you want the best pearls you can find, Australian pearls are what you are looking for. Check out here! to our collection of these fantastic and luxurious pearls.
If you also want to learn a little more about Australian cultured pearls, visit our article here!.
Exclusive 17-20mm Australian pearl necklace exhibited at the Hong Kong International Jewelry Fair, pearls over 15mm are really rare.