Freshwater pearls are typically found in mussels from freshwater sources like rivers, lakes or ponds; most are cultured in China. Natural freshwater pearls have been found in almost every country. Since a freshwater mollusk can produce many pearls at one time, freshwater pearls are more abundant and less expensive than saltwater pearls. Saltwater pearls have a higher luster, are round and larger than freshwater pearls. They are cultivated in oysters in oceans in China, Japan and the South Pacific. China produces the most notable white Akoya pearls known for their outstanding luster and large size. Tahitian pearls, cultured from Black-Lipped oysters in the the warm waters of the South Pacific, are unique in color ranging from blacks, grays, silvers and greens.
Pearls are a treasure from the Earth's bodies of water and they represent mystery, and power. Pearls are purely organic and are loved by almost everyone. They represent mystery, power, and purity which is why they are often worn at weddings.
As the symbol of purity, pearls are perfect for brides and bridesmaids. Pearls match well with everything and are a timeless fashion statement. In families, a strand of pearls is often passed down from generation to generation because, when appropriately cared for, their beauty has the potential to last forever. Be timeless with a classic set of pearls!
Unlike any gemstones, pearls are grown by oysters and mussels. A pearl begins as a foreign object within an oyster, for example, a piece of shell. To ease the irritant, an oyster protects itself by creating a substance around the irritant called nacre. The nacre layers upon itself and hardens, creating a beautiful pearl. When this phenomenon occurs naturally it is considered a “natural” pearl, and a rare occurrance. However, when the irritant is inserted by man, it is considered a “cultured” pearl. Cultured pearls are much more common and share the same properties as natural pearls.
Cleaning & Care
Freshwater pearls are more durable than saltwater pearls because they have a thicker nacre. Pearls are not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid heat, chemicals, and cosmetics. Pearls should be cleaned by wiping gently with a soft, damp cloth. Pearls should be stored in a cloth jewelry box or wrapped in a soft cloth. Gemstone Cleaning and Care Guide >
Pearls are often dyed to create a colorful variety. Nacre creates the shiny iridescent outer layer of pearls called luster. The rarest, most valuable pearls have the highest luster.
2.5 - 3.0
Scratch resistance through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer material.
2.60 - 2.85
The relation between the density of any substance and the density of water.
1.52 - 1.69
The ratio of the velocity of light in a vacuum to its velocity in a specified medium.