During jewelry shopping, it is a golden rule to know what you buy or don’t get swindled. It is also a fact that many women buy what they like, so the rule goes out of the window. Pearls are naturally produced by different kinds of mollusks found in freshwater and seawater. They get created when an irritant enters naturally or is introduced [in pearl farming technique] in the mollusk, which triggers the production of nacre layers.
The pearl producing process that appears naturally fetches very high price but when it is harvested through manual intervention then it results in cultural pearls. These are not fake pearls because the farmer just inserts a nucleus in the mollusk and leaves the other process to nature. The advantage is that people get real pearl in plenty and at affordable prices.
Saltwater pearls are valuable than freshwater ones. The reason is that majority of saltwater mollusks create few pearls in comparison to their freshwater counterparts. Other aspects to consider are shape, surface quality, luster, color, and nacre thickness. Saltwater species excel in all these aspects. Perfect round shaped pearls are in great demand and command good prices. Freshwater pearls available in market are cultivated in reservoirs and lakes, whereas saltwater species are grown in Oceanai, Southeast Asia, and Asia.
Varieties of saltwater and freshwater pearls
- South China Sea pearls are the best ones in the world. The common colors are golden and white.
- Akoya pearls are other classic, which are available in gold, black and white. They are consistently round in shape.
- Tahitian pearls are popular as peacock, green, black and chocolate pearls. Pinctada Margaritafera produces them and the mollusks are found in the French Polynesia region. For three decades cultured Tahitians are available but before that you had to pay fortune for a single strand of black pearls.
- Kasumi pearls are found in Japan’s freshwater lake. They have a wrinkled or rippled surface. Varying shades of lavender and blush with copper or golden overtones [called pondslime] are available.
- Conch pearls are rarest and queen conch mollusk called Lobatus Giagas produces it. Color can range from orange to pale pinkish and best specimens are the delicate flame like patterns.
- Keshi pearl gets formed, when salt or freshwater mollusk reject the implanted nucleus prior culturing process gets concluded or when the implanted nucleus fractures and thus a separate sac without nuclei gets formed. However, the shapes are irregular and flat, so they are even called Corn Flake or petal pearls.