The Beauty of South Sea Pearls

Naturally occurring South Sea pearls are virtually unknown today on the world market. Although experiments in culturing South Sea pearls began as early as 1912, it was not until 1954 that the first successful operation began in Burma.

The size and quality of the pearls produced since then have been sensational, with cultured South Sea pearls being regarded as the most luxurious types of pearls today.

The oyster used by growers is the large Pinctada maxima oyster, which can be found in two varieties, the silver-lipped and yellow-lipped oysters. The Pinctada maxima oyster can be as large as 30cm in diameter and up to 3 years in age before grafting operations begin.

The most popular colour of South Sea pearls has been white, combined with delicate overtones of silvers and pinks, and is produced by the silver-lipped oyster found in ocean waters mainly off the coasts of Australia and Indonesia.

The yellow-lipped oyster, found off the coast of the Philippines and Indonesia, produces highly  fashionable golden pearls with overtone colours of peach and even red. The best quality golden pearls can command significant prices today at auction.

The thickness of nacre on a South Sea pearl contributes to a rich depth of lustre and shine unmatched by many other pearls. These are the largest pearls being cultured today, typically being found in sizes between 8mm and 16mm and sometimes even exceeding 20mm in diameter.

Available at Winterson in a number of contemporary and classic South Sea pearl necklaces, pendants and South Sea pearl earrings, these stunning designer pearls really make a unique and beautiful gift.