Types of Pearls: More Than Just Black and White
When the word “pearls” is mentioned, the vast majority of people may immediately think of the classic sparkly white or exotic black variations. However, in reality, there are more types of pearls than just those two.
Pearls can either be cultured or natural, depending to how they were formed. The size of pearls usually fall somewhere between 4 to 14 mm in diameter.
As for its shape, there are round, drop-shaped, oval-shaped, and baroque (misshapen) pearls. Round pearls are the ideal type used for stringing, but any pearl regardless of shape is highly valuable.
Any pearl can fall into the above physical classifications, but the main way in which the types of pearls are classified is by their beautiful nature. These classifications are distinct from one another and is used as the primary method by jewellers to differentiate them.
The Akoya Pearl
Known for its perfectly round shape and beautiful, mirror-like gloss, this pearl is most likely the image that pops into most people’s heads when they think of pearls. For nearly a century, this pearl which grew off of the Japanese coast, has been many jewellers’ pearl of choice.
Pearls of this type rarely ever deviate from the general perfectly round shape and colour. For anyone looking for a batch of round, white pearls, you couldn’t go wrong with Akoya pearls. Of all the types of pearls, this one is the true classic.
The Tahitian Pearl
Hailing from the French Polynesia, these pearls are the only pearls in the world that are naturally dark. Commonly referred to as “the black pearl,” the Tahitian pearl comes in a variety of dark tint shades; some of them overlaid with a sparkling, rainbow-colored glaze.
Contrary to the Akoya pearl, the Tahitian pearl is rarely ever round, but its variety of captivating shapes are valuable in their right. Jewellers praise them out of all the types of pearls for their beautiful coloration and ability to complement any ensemble.
The Freshwater Pearl
As the name suggests, this pearl is cultivated not in the open seas, but in calmer, more secluded waters. This makes production much easier and hence makes the Freshwater Pearl the most affordable pearl out there.
Due to the nature of its origin, the Freshwater pearl is usually less lustrous compared to the other types of pearls. However, there is considerable variety in the colours and shapes that it can have. For the jeweller aiming to put together a striking collection of colours and shapes, the Freshwater pearl is the go-to pearl.
South Sea Pearls
The largest of the bunch, South Sea pearls come in a range of colours, but is most known for its stunning gold shade. Grown mostly in the Philippines and Australia, these pearls can grow up to 18 mm in diameter.
Owing to this tendency to be massive, perfectly round South Sea Pearls are a rarity. Regardless, it’s still considered to be the most valuable type of pearl around.
In determining which kind of pearl you need to have as the latest addition to your jewellery collection, it would be wise to know which of these types of pearls best fits your budget and style.
Ever sat and thought:
How Much Are Pearls Worth?
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