The Different Types of Pearls

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Pearls have always been highly fascinating due to the unique process in which they are formed. This process starts from something small that gets trapped inside a mollusk, whether that is a grain of sand, a bit of dirt, a small bit of food, etc. The mollusk will protect itself from it, then it will start forming layers around the substance, which over time creates the pearl. Pearls vary in form, and natural pearls will likely have discrepancies from how we would perceive a pearl to look like. For example, it may not be perfectly round, and it may not have a smooth surface. (Related: Freshwater pearl necklace setPearl in oysters kits fundraisingPearl oyster suppliers)


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All mollusks can form pearls, that is why there are different types of pearls out there today. But what are the different types of pearl out there?

Freshwater Pearls

These pearls are the most common and readily available of all pearls. They are the cheapest of all pearls at around $50-$1,500 but resemble very similar characteristics to some of the more expensive pearls such as Akoya pearls. Freshwater pearls can come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colors, making them quite versatile for their use.

Akoya Pearls

Made from the Akoya oyster, these pearls are very prestigious because of the vibrant glossy shine they offer, along with the perfect round shape, what most would consider how a pearl would look like. This pearl varies in cost from around $300-$10,000, depending on the size and quality. The only downside is that they can be quite small in comparison to other pearls.

South Sea Pearls

There are 2 types of south sea pearls: Golden and White. Both are extremely rare and come with a matching price tag from $1,000-$100,000. These pearls are the largest of all pearl types and take the longest to form. It is very normal to see high end jewelry made with South sea pearls due to the size, color and glossy shine, which occurs naturally.

Tahitian Pearls

These pearls are very distinct due to the exotic colors they have. Often, they are found to be black, which is the most popular due to the unique nature of it. Along with the unique color, they are also the second largest pearl to be found, making them to be worth around $500-$25,000.

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