Pearls are a piece of jewelry which has a scintilating effect on anyone who sees it, one of the most stunning materail which is used in making the jewelry. Pearls are something which no one can take their eyes off them. With the tremendous variety of pearls in the market today, pearls are considered the least understood of all gemstones. There are different type of pearls, pearl grading, their history and care, which very few of us are aware of! Pearls, natural or cultured, are formed when a mollusk produces layers of nacre (pronounced NAY-kur) around some type of irritant inside its shell.
In natural pearls, the irritant may be another organism from the water. In cultured pearls, a mother-of-pearl bead or a piece of tissue is inserted into the mollusk to start the process. For both, the quality of the nacre dictates the quality of the luster, or shine of the pearl, which is very important to its beauty and its value. But for the people who are unaware about the process of making of pearl and different kind/type of pearls. Here is a short guide to keep you updated about this.
Akoya pearls are the classic cultured pearls of Japan. They are the most lustrous of all pearls found anywhere in the world. In recent years, China has been successful in producing Akoya pearls within their own waters. Although rare baroque shapes and natural colors like silver-blue and gold do exist, akoya pearls are best known for their perfectly round shape and sharp, reflective luster. Most of the akoya pearls produced presently in sizes of 4-10 mm.
The most affordable pearls sold today, freshwater pearls are known for baroque shapes, white and pastel body colors and softer luster than akoya (except in the case of rare metallics). The Chinese were the first to culture a product from freshwater mussels, though their centuries-old Buddhas are not true pearls but shell mabes. The first cultured freshwater pearls originated in Japan. Common sizes range from 5 mm to 12 mm, but recent advances have led to the development of round and baroque pearls as large as 20 mm. They are the most affordable ones.
Tahitian pearls grown in French Polynesia are the only naturally dark pearls. Although often referred to as black, Tahitian pearls come in a rainbow of exotic colors. These cultured certified Black Tahitian pearls range in size from about 8 mm to about 25 mm in diameter which is the size of the largest black Tahitian pearl ever found. Black Tahitian pearls 12 mm in diameter or larger are considered to be rare. These are natural dark pearls that go well with almost every style.
South Sea Pearls
Grown primarily in Australia the Philippines and Indonesia and ranging in color from white to gold, South Sea pearls are the largest saltwater pearls grown today. They are produced by the oyster species Pinctada maxima. South Sea pearls tend to be both the largest and the rarest of pearls. South Sea pearls range in size from 8 mm to 18 mm, the most common sizes range from 10 mm to 14 mm.