Pearls symbolize purity and beauty. They are timeless classics and today you will find many fashionable options besides the lengthy pearl strands our grandmother wore. You can choose several kinds of pearl jewelries to add to your collection.
Kinds of pearls:
Pearls are formed when irritants penetrate into the mollusk’s shell. The mollusk starts to generate nacre layers around the irritant. Basically, in natural pearls irritant come from water the oyster is surrounded with but in cultured pearls, a tissue piece is inserted inside by humans to start nacre buildup process. Pearls are harvested in saltwater and freshwater.
Different looking pearls:
Pearls look different because the oysters used to harvest are responsible for the pearl size, shape and color.
- Saltwater pearls
Tahitian pearls have natural colors ranging from purple, green, grey, and blue but are collected called black pearls. It comes from black lip oyster called Pinctada Margaritifera in size ranging from 8 to 16mm. Black pearl jewelry is very striking and popular.
Akoya pearls are small 2mm in size because they come from tiny oysters called Pinctada Fucata Martensii. In some rare cases, you will find Akoya pearls in the Mikimoto jewelry in size 10mm. Colors are usually white or cream.
South sea pearls:
Largest selling pearls available in size 9 to 20mm produced in Indonesia, Australia, and Philippines. South sea pearls harvested from Pinctada Maxima oyster can be white golden or cream in color.
Blue pearls are produced in Paula Mollusc. The pearls display chameleon quality that is light causes its color to change. Every pearl holds distinctive character due to its color changing quality.
- Freshwater pearls
Pearls grown in lakes, ponds, and river are freshwater kind. Majority of them are white resembling the Akoya pearls in shape and size. Nevertheless, they are produced in different shapes and pastel colors. In freshwater pearls, tissue piece is inserted, which causes thick nacre pearl in comparison to cultured Akoya.
The Semi-spherical pearls called Mabe pearls get harvested differently than normal pearls. Rather than developing within mollusk’s body, it grows within the shell. So, the pearl has a flat side in opposing to curve or spherical shaped normal pearls.
Seed sized pearls are actually the by-product of pearl culturing method. During harvesting debris enters the oyster, which gets entrapped in nacre thus shaping into rectangle, oval, off-round or flat keshi pearls.
Glass beads get coated to produce imitation pearls. Imitation pearls can be easily separated from cultured or natural pearls. However, differentiating between natural and cultured pearl is challenging.