Types of Pearls

While strands of pearls are the ultimate accessories for every woman, they can also be quite an investment. Before buying a luxury strand or set of pearls, it’s important to do some research to get to know the different types of pearls. Here’s a guide that will help you find the perfect match for both your style and budget.

Today, pearls come in two different varieties: cultured and natural. Cultured pearls are often cultivated in a laboratory, but they are still grown in real, natural oysters – just with a little help from human hands. The majority of pearls on the market today are cultured pearls.
The exception would be vintage or heirloom pearl jewelry, which could have been cultivated naturally – from a wild oyster living at sea, without human intervention. Natural pearls are extremely rare, with only 1 in 10,000 oysters producing a pearl – imagine how many oysters would be needed to create a strand that’s consistent in shape and size!

The pearls most women are familiar with are called Akoya pearls – they are the classic, white, round pearls that are as iconic as the movie stars that wear them. While being the most famous pearls, they are also fairly rare in nature, and it can be difficult to find enough pearls of the same shape, size, and color to create a proper pearl strand, making Akoya pearls one of the more expensive pearl varieties.

The most affordable type of pearls are freshwater pearls. While they used to be acknowledged as inferior in quality and style, today’s freshwater pearls are cultivated under precise conditions that make them virtually indistinguishable by eye from more expensive varieties. Freshwater pearls come in an assortment of colors and sizes, making them a budget-friendly option for a woman who wants to try adding pearls to her jewelry wardrobe.

South Sea pearls are quite rare in nature and are grown in larger mollusks, making them perfect for creating a luxury, statement strand. Also available in a variety of colors and sizes, South Sea pearls are a true luxury that forms a beautiful statement piece every woman will love.

Tahitian pearls are the most expensive pearl variety because they are the most rare in nature and are often the largest pearl type. Famous as “black pearls,” Tahitian pearls actually come in a variety of shades of grey, green, blue, and black, making them a mysterious and luxurious addition to any woman’s wardrobe. If you are looking for a pearl investment that you can love for generations, Tahitian pearls are timeless, gorgeous, and will make you look and feel at your best.

With this guide on the different types of pearls, you’ll be able to go into any jewelry store or website to find the perfect pearl strand to fit your budget and style. Understanding the different types of pearls will enable you to make an educated decision about purchasing the perfect pearls.