Akoya pearls are the classic white, saltwater pearls, which come from Japan and China. They typically have the highest lustre and the greatest shine of all cultured pearls. Akoya pearls range from 5mm to 11mm, with the 10-11mm sizes being the rarest. These pearls can either be white or cream in body colour and typically have rose, cream or ivory overtones.
South Sea Pearls
The undisputed Queen of Pearls is admired for her size and fine nuances of colour. South Sea pearls are saltwater pearls cultivated from oysters found in the South Seas, centering on Northern Australia and South-East Asia including Myanmar and Indonesia. They produce 10-20mm pearls of silver and gold colour and are the largest of the pearl types. South Sea pearls are also the most expensive pearls on the market due to their rarity and thick nacre.
Originating in the warm waters of the South Seas, Tahitian Pearls are cultivated by Black-Lipped Oysters. They are the only pearls to achieve a black body colour naturally and are typically very large, ranging from 9mm-16mm. Although mostly dark, they can come in a wide range of hues including black, grey, silver, green, blue and purple. They also have gorgeous overtones that give Tahitian pearls an incredible beauty of their own.
Freshwater pearls come from freshwater mussels and are primarily produced in China. These pearls are unsurpassed for variety and shape, with shades ranging from white to pastel colours such as pink, peach, lavender, plum, purple and tangerine, depending on the type of mussel. The typical size of these pearls ranges from 2-16mm, with 7-8mm being the most usual. In the early days of freshwater pearl production, they were frequently found in baroque shapes. However, with modern techniques they can be cultivated in virtually any round shape. They are highly versatile in the way that they can be worn and offer great value for money.