CULTURED OYSTER PEARLS
The Akoya pearl is cultured in the Pinctada Fukata oyster farmed off the shores of Japan. It was the first cultured pearl to appear in the old continent. Its size varies from 6 to 10mm in diameter and is considered to be the most lustrous pearl in the world. Recent developments have spread the farming area to other parts of Asia.
The first thing that hits you when looking at Tahitian pearls is their fantastic dark colour, ranging from aubergine to peacock and pistachio and countless shades in between. Tahitian pearls are cultured throughout French Polynesia in the Pinctada Margaritifera oyster and can grow up to 18mm in diameter.
The Australian pearl is cultured from the Pinctada Maxima oyster in the warm waters of the South Seas. It’s the most impressive of all pearls with sizes ranging up to 21mm in diameter. This unique feature, together with its intense golden or silver shine, makes it “the queen of pearls”.
CULTURED FRESHWATER PEARLS
Mussels farmed in different types of freshwater lakes, rivers, ponds and streams in Asia and the USA. Freshwater cultured pearls come in a wide range of shapes and lovely pastel colours. These pearls are generally less lustrous than their saltwater counterparts.
Imitation pearls are crafted. They consist of a glass bead covered by several layers of “essence of the Orient”, a mixture of crushed mother-of-pearl and fish scales. They are frequently used in fashion jewellery as an inexpensive but yet qualitative alternative for cultured pearls.