Freshwater pearls offer unique shapes, sizes and varieties of color that are not found in saltwater pearls, making them a favorite of jewelry designers, shoppers, and pearl connoisseurs alike.
The character of a freshwater pearl is found in its distinctive surface texture, shape and the warmth of its luster. In addition to the traditional white body color, freshwater pearls come in a rainbow of natural colors as brilliant as lavender, tangerine, mauve, aqua-silver, peach, and every shade in between. Their varied shapes include potato-shaped and stick pearls, rice-shaped and button pearls, coin-shaped and drop pearls, off-round and round pearls. Pearls found attached to the inner surface of the shell are known as blister pearls.
The global freshwater market is overwhelmingly dominated by Chinese pearl farms, which account for nearly all of the freshwater pearls sold today. At these farms, each mussel is surgically implanted with 24 to 32 tiny pieces of mantle tissue, a process known as nucleation. Once they have been nucleated, the mussels protect their flesh from the irritants by secreting nacre. Over the course of 2 to 7 years, the mussels deposit layer upon layer of nacre around the growing gems. The fragment of mantle tissue disintegrates as the mollusk coats it, resulting in a pearl made of solid nacre, making them more durable than saltwater pearls.
The unique luster of pearls depends upon the reflection and refraction of light from the translucent layers and is finer in proportion as the layers are thinner and more numerous. The iridescence which some pearls display is caused by the overlapping of successive layers, which breaks up light falling on the surface. Pearls are not cut or polished like other gems. They are very soft and are injured by acids and heat, making proper care important.
About Us | Pearl Care