FRESHWATER PEARL VS. CULTURED
Freshwater pearls and cultured pearls have a lot in common. After all, they're both made of the same material: nacre. And they're both used to make beautiful jewelry.
But there are also some key differences between these two types of pearls. Here's a look at some of the most important ones:
FIRST, WHAT IS A FRESHWATER PEARL?
A freshwater pearl is a natural pearl that forms in freshwater mussels. You can find freshwater pearls in rivers, lakes, and ponds. These pearls are usually white or cream-colored and have a smooth surface.
ARE FRESHWATER PEARLS REAL?
Yes, freshwater pearls are real. They are made of the same material as saltwater pearls (nacre) and have the same iridescent sheen. However, they are less valuable than saltwater pearls because they are more common and easier to find.
HOW RARE ARE NATURAL PEARLS?
Natural pearls are very rare. In fact, for every 10,000 oysters harvested, only one will contain a pearl. This rarity is why natural pearls are so valuable, and cultured pearls are in high demand.
WHAT IS A CULTURED PEARL?
A cultured pearl is a pearl that is grown on a pearl farm. Cultured pearls are usually more uniform in shape and size than freshwater pearls and come in a wide range of colors, including pink, blue, and black.
HOW CULTURED PEARLS ARE MADE?
To grow a cultured pearl, farmers first insert a small piece of shell into the oyster. This pearl culturing process is also called grafting. The oyster will then secrete nacre around the shell, which is what pearls consist of. From this pearl culturing process, the oyster can take several years to produce a fully-grown pearl.
ARE CULTURED PEARLS FAKE?
No, cultured pearls are not fake. They are made of the same material as natural pearls and have the same iridescent sheen. However, they are less valuable than natural pearls because they are more common and easier to find.
WHICH TYPE OF PEARL IS BETTER?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people prefer the natural look of a freshwater pearl, while others prefer a cultured pearl's uniformity and color range. But, ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
ARE FRESH OR CULTURED PEARLS MORE EXPENSIVE?
The main difference between freshwater pearls and cultured pearls is that freshwater pearls are natural, and cultured pearls are man-made. Freshwater pearls are also usually less expensive than cultured pearls.
The main reason why cultured pearls are less expensive is that they are grown on pearl farms. This process is more efficient than finding natural wild pearls, making them less costly to produce.
DO FRESHWATER OR CULTURED PEARLS LAST LONGER?
Both freshwater pearls and cultured pearls consist of nacre, which is a very strong material. However, because cultured pearls are grown on pearl farms, they may be more resistant to damage and wear than freshwater pearls.
CULTURED VS. NATURAL PEARL APPEARANCE
The species of mollusk that produces a pearl determines its general appearance and hue. Natural pearls and cultured pearls share several visual similarities.
1. NATURAL PEARLS
Pearls cultured outside of farms is rarely accepted as natural pearl jewelry. To be marketed as genuine pearl jewelry, pearls need to fulfill certain quality criteria. Outside shellfish farms, mollusks seldom produce quality pearls.
It's difficult to tell natural versus cultured pearls apart. The only surefire method to tell them apart is using an X-ray machine. The simplest method is to examine the nacre's thickness. Natural pearls have a thicker nacre, as a rule. You can usually tell by examining the nacre's transparency and putting it under strong lighting.
Natural pearls don't look as perfect as cultured pearls. They come in different types of pearl shapes, but natural pearls are mostly baroque shapes with flaws. If a natural pearl appears almost flawless, you can bet the retail price is very high.
2. CULTURED PEARLS
Cultured pearls are often more spherical than natural ones because cultivated pearls are better protected from predators on pearl farms. Cultured pearls are more likely to be round, but they also come in different types of pearl shapes.
It may be challenging to distinguish natural and cultured pearls without the aid of a trained expert.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CULTURED PEARLS AND REAL PEARLS?
- Natural freshwater pearls are the result of a natural process, whereas cultivated pearls are the result of human intervention; freshwater pearls result through cultivation.
- A distinction worth noting between natural freshwater pearls and cultured pearls is that while natural pearls develop concentric rings over time, cultivated pearls do not. Cultured pearls have a solid center that lacks concentric rings, and X-rays are the only method that can detect this.
- Most natural pearls (mainly saltwater) have a low sheen, whereas most cultivated pearls have a high luster.
- Natural pearls often have uneven coloring or surfaces, while cultured pearls are more likely to be solid white pearls.
- Natural freshwater pearls were highly prized before cultured pearls were created, but their worth plummeted when people began producing cultured pearls in various colors.
- Freshwater pearls come in various colors, including pinks, lavenders, peaches, and whites; however, cultured pearls offer more color choices.
- The price of natural freshwater pearls and cultured pearls may vary based on the situation. The cost of natural pearls is generally greater than that of cultured pearls; a cultivated freshwater pearl will typically cost less than a natural freshwater pearl.
There are a few key things to remember when it comes to freshwater pearls vs. cultured pearls. First, freshwater pearls are natural and cultured pearls are cultivated. Second, freshwater pearls typically have a lower luster than cultured pearls. Finally, the price of natural freshwater pearls is usually higher than that of cultured pearls. Pearl farmers have come a long way in cultivating beautiful freshwater pearls and show no signs of slowing down. So, if you're looking for the perfect pearl jewelry piece, don't forget to consider all your options!