From beautiful strands in any length and pearl size to multi-strand bracelets and the simplicity of pearl stud earrings, the array of colors and shapes available is practically endless coming from around the world.
There are several varieties of cultured pearls:
AKOYA is the classic cultured pearl of Japan and now China. It is grown in the smallest oyster used for culturing.
TAHITIAN pearls are cultured in the black-lipped oyster which can be 12″ across and weigh 10 lbs. The pearls produced are large and are unique because of their dark color. They are called black but are actually silver or gray, with most being dark green. They are called Tahitian but are not traditionally from Tahiti but from other French Polynesian Islands.
South Sea Pearls
SOUTH SEA pearls are among the largest cultured pearls, some as large as 20 mm. Northern Australia to southern China are culturing grounds for them and two mollusks are used – the silver-lipped and the gold-lipped oysters. Their colors are white, silver, and golden, colors not usually seen in other pearls varieties.
FRESHWATER pearls are grown in non-saline waters and come in a variety of shades and colors. Most are not bead-nucleated but with mantle tissue from another mollusk. The result is generally a pearl of irregular shape and all nacre that makes it more durable than the Akoya cultured pearls. China is the largest producer but mantle tissue from mollusks grown in a river in Tennessee provides much of the nucleating