Since Pearl Source offers such a wide range of pearl types, our customers can often times be confused on which type of pearl offers the best value at their budget. Read our brief summaries below to educate yourself regarding the origin, value, size and quality of each pearl type.
Freshwater pearls are typically found in lakes and rivers in China. In recent years, the quality of Freshwater pearls has drastically improved and has resulted in beautiful pearls that are cleaner, rounder, and more lustrous. Due to their mass production, freshwater pearls are also popular for their affordable price points. Freshwater pearl sizes typically range from 5mm to 10mm, though they are often available in larger sizes up to 13mm.
Japanese Akoya Pearls
Since the 1930's, Akoya pearls are the world's best-known pearl. Akoya pearls are often very round and spherical in shape and are complemented by very high luster. Produced by a small oyster called the Pinctada Fucata off the seas of Japan and China, they are commonly found in sizes ranging from 2mm to 10mm in size. Akoya pearls are a long-time favorite in the pearl industry and are commonly worn by brides on their wedding day.
Tahitian South Sea Pearls
Tahitian pearls, also known as black South Sea pearls or simply black pearls, are cherished for their incredibly exotic colors and mirror-like luster. Whereas other pearl types are typically limited in color, Tahitian pearls consist of hundreds of overtones with incredibly exotic colors such as peacock green, silver green, blue, and eggplant, just to name a few. These pearls are produced by the Pinctada Margaritifera oyster, which is found exclusively in Tahiti and several other French Polynesian islands.
White & Golden South Sea Pearls
White & Golden South Sea pearls are cherished for their classic color as well as their exceptional sizes. These rare gems are produced by the Pinctada Maxima oyster, found in very deep and offshore waters. White South Sea pearls are commonly found off the shores of Australia and are typically creamy white in color with a silver overtone. High quality golden South Sea pearls are usually found in the Philippines and include a wide variation of shades of light to dark golden colors.
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Understanding pearl grading is crucial in order to purchase the highest quality pearls at the best possible value.
Pearl sizing varies widely depending on the type of pearl that is being evaluated.
Pearls are assigned to four categories: Round/Semi-Round, Drop, Baroque, and Circle Baroque.