Pearls – classically one of the most popular gems known to man, and growing more modern with today’s jewelry and accessory design.
We find pearls in a mollusk, produced once an irritation or grain of sand is found inside and nacre (NAY-kur) layers over the grain. The nacre layers itself over and over again until the pearl is formed.
Pearls are harvested from many different sources from all round the world. Focusing on the main types of pearls - freshwater or saltwater and how they are created naturally or cultured.
A cultured pearl is just as real as a natural pearl, and the growth process is the same, however a cultured pearl is found in a mollusk that is managed by man versus a natural mollusk with no human intervention.
Freshwater pearls are grown in lakes, rivers, ponds and reserves mainly in china. Freshwater pearls can produces various shapes, sizes and colors however the most common is a round white pearl.
Seed Pear beads - 2-3mm
Saltwater pearls come from a few different sources:
Akoya pearls- Japan China and Vietnam
South Sea Pearls – Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines
Tahitian – French Polynesia including Tahiti
Akoya pearls are predominantly round in shape and on a scale of 2-10 mm in size (10 mm being rare). Also find baroque in shape – which covers most misshapen styles and create a variety of quality with spotted to excellent luster and lovely nacre to a chalky outer layer.
South Sea pearls tend to grow on the larger side 8-20 mm, on average 10-13 mm. The south sea will generate white, cream and gold pearls in varies shapes including round, oval, button, and baroque.
Tahitian pearls approximately 8-16 mm in size and notably referred to as black pearls even though the shades do range from gray, blue, purple, green and the beautiful peacock. These pearls are known for their stunning overtone hues.
Coin Shape Baroque White Pearls
Imitation pearls can be easily spotted, however they may be exactly what your looking for. Created with a glass coating over a bead, these “pearls” will offer exact uniform in size, color and shape!
Over the past 50 years most natural spots for pearls have been harvested, at one point nearly to extinction of the oyster. Cultured pearls off a balance between imitation and natural that allows proper environmental growth while not harming the natural species.
At Beadunion we offer predominantly Freshwater pearls because of their incredible quality, durability and affordability. Offering various shapes, sizes and colors for your unique designs!