WHICH PEARL IS BEST?


There are many different types of pearls out there, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. Do you want a classic white pearl? A flashy black pearl? A pink pearl? Or maybe a blue pearl?


It can be tough to make a decision, but don't worry - we're here to help. In this article, we'll give you a rundown of the different types of pearls and help you decide which one is best for you.



NATURAL PEARLS VS. CULTURED PEARLS


One difference between natural and cultured pearls is that naturally occurring pearls are formed without human intervention, while cultured pearls form with the help of humans.



HOW DO NATURAL PEARLS FORM?


Certain mollusks, such as pearl oysters, form natural pearls in their bodies, or mantle tissues, usually as a result of a tiny irritant and always without any help from humans.



HOW CULTURED PEARLS ARE MADE:


Natural pearls develop on their own, whereas pearl farmers create cultivated pearls by inserting a mollusk into an oyster shell. The mollusk is an organism in the ocean that produces natural pearls. The mollusk in cultured pearls is often a small bead.



NATURAL VS. CULTURED PEARL VALUE


Another difference between natural and cultured pearls is the price. Because naturally occurring pearls are so rare today, they can be quite expensive. On the other hand, the cost of cultured pearls is considerably more affordable because they form in greater numbers.



WHERE ARE CULTURED PEARLS GROWN?


Cultured pearls are typically grown in freshwater or saltwater environments.


Cultured freshwater pearls are grown in lakes, ponds, and rivers. The most common cultured freshwater pearls are the biwa pearls produced in Lake Biwa in Japan. In contrast, only a small amount of natural freshwater pearls come from Lake Biwa.


Saltwater cultured pearls are grown in the ocean. The most common saltwater cultured pearls are Akoya pearls, which come from the Akoya oyster, and Tahitian black pearls, which come from the black-lipped oyster.



WHICH IS BETTER FRESHWATER OR CULTURED PEARLS?


The truth is that practically all pearls sold today, even freshwater pearls, are cultivated pearls. In other words, there is no discernible difference between freshwater pearls and cultured pearls. The habitat in which freshwater pearls and cultured pearls form, whether freshwater or saltwater, is what really distinguishes them.



ARE CULTURED PEARLS REAL PEARLS?


Cultured pearls are genuine pearls grown in either freshwater or saltwater. The only difference is that naturally occurring pearls are formed without human intervention, while farm-raised pearls form with the help of humans. Genuine pearls are quite rare today, and as a result, they can be quite expensive, whereas the cost of cultured pearls is affordable.



HOW CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NATURAL AND CULTURED PEARLS?


Cultured pearls lack the "organic" appearance of natural pearls. For instance, they might not be as well-rounded or well-shaped as their cultured pearl equivalents. However, since most natural pearls have already been harvested, they are extremely rare. Most genuine pearls are sold at antique auctions, making them incredibly expensive and nearly impossible to find.


On the other hand, cultured pearls are not very uncommon; almost all of the jewelry on the market today are cultured pearls.



TYPES OF CULTURED PEARLS:


There are two types of cultured pearls: freshwater pearls and saltwater pearls. The two varieties have different subgroups depending on how and where they form.


Akoya Cultivated Pearls: The most well-known variety of saltwater cultured pearls in the United States and other Western markets are Akoya pearls. Single-strand necklaces are popular among customers who think of white or cream-colored Akoya pearls as the golden standard for pearls. Japan and China are both home to Akoya cultivated pearls.



AKOYA PEARLS:



ARE AKOYA PEARLS FRESHWATER OR SALTWATER?


Akoya pearls are a type of saltwater cultured pearl variety grown in the Akoya oyster, which is native to Japan and China.



WHAT ARE HIGH-QUALITY AKOYA PEARLS CALLED?


Hanadama pearls are the "Ferrari of pearls."

 


HOW RARE ARE BLUE AKOYA PEARLS?


Although you can find blue Akoya pearls in practically all varieties of pearls (Tahitian, Freshwater, South Sea, and Akoya), the likelihood of finding a blue pearl in any of these is incredibly rare.

 


SOUTH SEA CULTURED PEARLS:



ARE SOUTH SEA PEARLS CULTURED?


Yes, South Sea pearls are cultured pearls grown in the Pinctada maxima oyster, which is native to the waters off Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

 

South sea cultured pearls typically come from Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Depending on the type of oyster, they can be white to silver or a golden hue. Their value is partly due to their sheer size and thick nacre, as well as the fact that they require a lengthy growth period.



TAHITIAN CULTURED PEARLS:



WHAT IS A TAHITIAN PEARL?


The islands of French Polynesia are the most well-known home of these pearls (the most notable being Tahiti).



WHY ARE TAHITIAN PEARLS BLACK?


Not all Tahitian cultured pearls are black. Tahitian cultured pearls have a wide color palette, including gray, black, or brown, and might have blue, green, purple, or pink overtones.



SALTWATER CULTURED PEARLS:



Saltwater cultured pearls form in saltwater oysters found in the sea, ocean, gulf, or bay. When these pearls are 100 percent natural, they do not have a round form because they form in an oyster, not in a laboratory. The natural shape of a natural saltwater pearl is more like a teardrop, oval, or circle. However, a few cultivated ones have smooth, rounded shapes because the technicians rotate them during the formation process so that they will not attach themselves to the oyster's shell.


In general, saltwater cultured pearls are more valuable than freshwater pearls. It all has to do with supply and demand. There are simply fewer saltwater pearls in the world, making them rarer (and, therefore, more expensive). Cultured saltwater pearls are grown in oysters found in large bodies of water such as the sea or ocean. Because they're grown in these vast bodies of water, it's more difficult to cultivate these pearls, making them even rarer.



FRESHWATER CULTURED PEARLS:



Freshwater cultured pearls are the most commonly produced pearls, and they are one of the most popular pearl types among shoppers and jewelry designers. This popularity is due to their remarkable range of sizes, shapes, and colors, plus their commercial availability at lower price points. Freshwater cultured pearls form in freshwater lakes and ponds, often with a large number of pearls produced by one oyster. The majority of freshwater cultured pearls come from China.



DO FRESHWATER PEARLS COME IN COLORS?


Yes! One type of freshwater pearl is called a "rainbow pearl." Rainbow pearls form when several different nacre colors deposit in layers around the pearl nucleus. As a result, these pearls have a colorful iridescent appearance that is truly unique.



RAINBOW PEARLS:



These pearls typically form in the Western winged (or rainbow-lipped) pearl oyster (Pteria sterna), native to the Pacific Coast, California, Peru, and Mexico. When these pearls develop naturally, they can vary from the size of a seed to 20 carats. Natural rainbow pearls range in price from $100 to $2000 per carat, whereas multi-colored cultured pearls are 7 mm to 12 mm in diameter. Multi-colored cultured pearls are also inexpensive compared to natural rainbow pearls.



ARE CULTURED PEARLS ETHICAL?


This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on who you ask. For example, some people believe that cultured pearls are unethical because they form using human intervention. Others believe that cultured pearls are ethical because they provide an alternative to natural pearls, which are becoming increasingly rare. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to wear cultured pearls is a personal one.


WRAPPING UP


Both natural and cultured pearls are beautiful, but cultured pearls are more affordable and available in a greater variety of colors and sizes. So if you're looking for a special piece of jewelry, either type of pearl would make an excellent choice.


Which type of pearl is best? It depends on what you're looking for! If you want a more affordable option with a greater variety of colors and sizes, then cultured pearls are the way to go. However, if you're looking for a unique piece of jewelry, then naturally occurring pearls are a great option. No matter what you choose, you can't go wrong with either type of pearl.