What Are Freshwater Pearls?
Freshwater pearls are the most widely available and affordable type of cultured pearl.
Pearls were first cultured in freshwater mussels by the Chinese about 800 years ago. Almost all freshwater pearls today are cultured in South and Eastern China in rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
Freshwater pearls are grown in an extraordinary variety of sizes, shapes and colours. Sizes typically can range from 4mm to 14mm in size, although recent developments by pearl farmers have resulted in even larger sizes.
As most freshwater pearls are not bead-nucleated, these pearls tend to be near-round, button, oval or non-symmetrical in shape.
Freshwater pearls have pretty colours including white, apricot, pink, lavender and more metallic hues. Some freshwater pearls can also have a rainbow effect on their surface called orient.
The best quality freshwater pearls can match the finest Akoya, Tahitian and South Seas pearls.