Types of Pearls
There are four different types of pearls.
Formed in freshwater streams and rivers of China and Japan, freshwater pearls come in a range of shapes and sizes. They have a wide variety of colours and normally grow to 5-10mm in diameter. They are the only pearl type formed entirely of nacre, the mother of pearl substance which gives pearls their distinguishing shine. Freshwater pearls are therefore the most durable of all pearls as other pearl types have a layer of nacre only on the surface of the pearls.
Akoya pearls are cultivated in Japan and China. They are formed from the smallest pearl-producing oysters and are characterised by their perfectly round shape and brilliant lustre. The average size of this type of pearls range from 6-9mm.
Cultivated in Australia and Indonesia, the South Sea pearls are famous for their large size and satiny lustre. The average size of the pearls are between 10-18mm. These pearls are the most valuable among the cultured pearls due to their scarcity and large size.
Formed in French Polynesia these pearls are famous for their naturally black colour. While characterised as black, the colour of Tahitian pearls range from slate grey to midnight black with overtones of green, pink or blue. The average size of the pearls are between 8-15mm.