There are essentially five pearl types and the experts at Pearl Paradise will walk you through each of them.
Freshwater pearls are best known for their wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors, and their attractive prices. They are produced by the Hyriopsis cumingi, Hyriopsis schlegeli, and Cristaria plicata mussels, which live in lakes and rivers in China and Japan. The mussels are grafted with pieces of mantle tissue, resulting in pearls of solid nacre. About the size of a human hand, these mussels are able to produce up to 32 pearls at a time, up to 16 on either valve.
Tahitian pearls are the only pearls in the world that are naturally black. Rare, exotic, and luxurious, Tahitian pearls are produced by the oyster native to Tahiti and the French Polynesian islands. These saltwater oysters can grow as large as a dinner plate, resulting in pearls that range from 8 to 18 mm in size. Tahitian pearls come in an array of colors, from silver to deep black, with shades of green, blue, and peacock.
Akoya pearls are treasured for their perfect shape and reflective shine. They come from a small oyster known as the Pinctada fucata, or akoya. The saltwater Pinctada fucata oyster lives along the coasts of Japan and China. A bead is surgically implanted into the gonad of the oyster along with a small piece of mantle tissue. The oyster coats the bead with layer upon layer of beautiful nacre. These relatively small pearls range from 2 to 10 mm.
Golden South Sea Pearls
Golden South Sea pearls are among the rarest and most valuable pearls in the world . These valuable pearls are produced by the famous gold-lip variety of the Pinctada maxima pearls oyster, along the coasts of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. A single strand of these magnificent gems can take many years of harvests to assemble, as each pearl must be painstakingly matched for size, roundness, color, and quality.
White South Sea Pearls
White South Sea pearls are treasured for their luxurious size and brilliant satin luster. These valuable pearls are produced by the famous silver-lip variety of the Pinctada maxima pearl oyster, along the coasts of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. As the rarest pearls on earth, a single strand of these magnificent gems can take many years of harvests to assemble, as each pearl must be painstakingly matched for size, roundness, color, and quality.