If you're looking for a unique and eye-catching piece of jewelry, you may want to consider a freshwater pearl. These gems come in a variety of colors and sizes, making them perfect for any outfit or occasion. Keep reading to learn more about freshwater pearls and how to care for them.

First, What is a Freshwater Pearl?


Freshwater pearls form when an irritant such as a grain of sand or piece of shell becomes lodged inside the mantle tissue of a freshwater mussel. To protect itself, the mollusk secretes nacre (also known as mother-of-pearl) around the irritating object. Over time, layers and layers of nacre coat the irritant in forming a pearl.

Where are Freshwater Pearls Found?

Freshwater pearls are found in freshwater rivers, lakes, ponds and creeks that have mussels living in them.


Can you wear Freshwater Pearls in the Shower?

Natural freshwater pearls are not completely impervious to water. The nacre of the pearl is an organic substance, so while it might appear strong and durable, it will deteriorate over time due to exposure to chemicals in tap water. This can cause the nacre to degrade and peel away from the surface of your pearls.

No, you can not wear your freshwater pearl jewelry in the shower. They are too delicate to withstand the harsh chemicals and temperatures of a shower, therefore they will deteriorate faster than other pearl types. Pearls are also very sensitive to pressure, so it's important not to sleep in your pearl jewelry as well.

Also, you want to avoid exposing natural freshwater pearls to lotions and perfumes. These substances contain chemicals that will change the surface of pearl jewelry rendering it matte or tacky. Also, avoid wearing them in chlorinated water since they are not chlorine-resistant.

If your pearls do get wet, make sure you pat them dry with a clean, soft fabric and allow them to air dry before storing them away.

To preserve their beauty for as long as possible, store your pearls away from other gemstones that might scratch them. Keep your pearl jewelry wrapped in silk or plastic and place them in a compartmentalized jewelry box.

You should wear freshwater pearls only when you plan to remove them at the end of the day, this should minimize their exposure to chemicals and prolong their life.


What do Freshwater Pearls Look Like?


These pearls come in a variety of natural pastel hues, including lavender, pink, and every shade in between. The wide variety of shapes of freshwater pearls has long attracted attention, including potato-shaped and stick pearls, rice-shaped and button pearls, coin-shaped and drop pearls, and off-round and round peals. The shapes and sizes of these beads vary widely. They can be as tiny as seed pearls that measure 1 or 2 millimeters in diameter and up to 15 mm or larger.


How to Clean Freshwater Pearls?


A good method to clean your freshwater pearls is straightforward. After each usage, use a gentle jewelry cleaning cloth to wipe the pearls down. This will help maintain their luster and reduce dirt build-up. If you notice that they look particularly dirty, try using a damp cloth and leaving them out to dry before storing them back in their proper place.


Are Freshwater Pearls Good Quality?


There is no definitive answer as the quality of freshwater pearls can vary greatly depending on the size, shape, and luster of each individual pearl. However, in general, freshwater pearls are often considered to be good quality due to their natural beauty and wide variety of colors.


What do Freshwater Pearls Symbolize?


Freshwater pearls are often given as symbols of modesty, sincerity and purity. They represent the wearer's femininity, innocence and vulnerability. Because they come from freshwater mussels, they are also thought to bring the good luck of water.


Freshwater Pearls vs Akoya Pearls

The primary distinction between saltwater and freshwater pearls is that they form in distinct environments. Freshwater pearls cultivate within freshwater mussels, whereas Japanese Akoya pearls develop inside of Akoya oysters that live in saltwater. Although the process of producing a pearl is somewhat distinct, it consists of the same defensive reaction, in which nacre emits to cover an object.

However, another noticeable difference between Akoya and freshwater pearls is their shape and overall appearance. Japanese Akoya pearls are smoother and more spherical, thus producing a nearly ideal ball form. Freshwater pearls, however, are quite unique since each bead forms somewhat differently and has a bit of a puckered look about it.


What are Cultured Freshwater Pearls?

Cultured freshwater pearls are pearls that are farmed and created using freshwater mussels. Cultured freshwater pearls are produced on a small scale in Japan and the United States, but the majority are exclusively produced in China.


What is the Difference Between Freshwater Pearls and Cultured?

Because cultured pearls are produced in controlled settings, the oyster survival rates are considerably higher. It is also possible to cultivate freshwater pearls in an industrial capacity, which allows pearl farmers to create high-quality, genuine pearls at a faster rate than oyster divers.

As a matter of fact, pearl divers have already collected the majority of the ocean's natural pearls, according to the American Gem Society.

As a result, even though the quality of a cultured pearl is comparable to that of a natural pearl, because of its lack of scarcity, it is frequently much more affordable.


Are Cultured Pearls Better than Freshwater?

That is a personal choice. Some people feel that cultured pearls have a more consistent shape and size than freshwater pearls. Others prefer the natural look and feel of freshwater pearls.


What is the Difference Between Freshwater Pearls and Saltwater Pearls?

Freshwater pearls are generally harvested in a shorter period of time than saltwater pearls. Freshwater pearls are ready in about 6 months, whereas Akoya saltwater pearls can take 10-18 months to be ready.

Typically, saltwater pearls have higher quality and are more valuable while freshwater pearls are the most affordable option.

Freshwater pearls are more durable than saltwater pearls because they are composed of solid nacre. Because of their high hardness and durability, they have a greater resistance to chipping, flaking, and scratching.


Final Thoughts

Overall, freshwater pearls are a beautiful and affordable option for those looking to add a touch of elegance to their look. With such a wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes available, it is easy to find the perfect set of pearls to complement any outfit. And with just a bit of regular care, they will remain lustrous and beautiful for years to come.

Thank you for reading! We hope this article was helpful in giving you a better understanding of freshwater pearls.