The classic beauty of pearls should never be under estimated. This traditional yet elegant adornment brings a look of class and grace to the wearer and has always set the standard for beauty and refinement. In a society full of women who wear glittering jewels and move around like veritable chandeliers, a lone woman with a simple strand of quality pearls is bound to catch the eye of the discerning few who recognizes quality and elegance when they see it.
The understated worth of the simple round pearl is legendary. Although most people still think that cultured pearls are far less superior to natural pearls, this is not exactly true, because nearly all pearls sold today are cultured where nature is given a boost in the cultivation of pearls in farms that are specifically set up for this purpose. Cultured pearls however can be cultivated in saltwater or fresh water. Natural pearls as it is would be an extremely rare find and well beyond the means of most anyone who has a liking for this precious gem.
The term cultured pearl can be used when referring to any pearl that is produced in freshwater or salt water, Salt water pearls are highly prized for their perfection and are mostly found in the seas of Japan where the oysters don’t measure more than 3 to 5 inches in diameter. They are perfectly round, highly lustrous and cream colored, an example of which are the hugely famous Akoya pearl that is formed inside the oyster, which accepts the nuclei from mollusks that becomes the central core of the pearl. The usual period of growth for the Akoya cultured pearl is from around 8 to 24 months and when harvested, will end up as a breathtaking pair of dainty earrings or as a part of a fascinating strand of pearls to adorn a swan like neck.
The freshwater cultured pearl on the other hand does not have the same perfect shape as that of its cousin the saltwater pearl. Neither does it have the luster nor sheen of the Akoya pearl and is less expensive. They are however very popular with the young crowd because of the affordability factor as well as its durability which makes it the perfect type of pearl to be used when designing pearl jewelry. The main difference between the fresh and cultured pearl however is that while the saltwater pearl is bead nucleated, the freshwater cultured pearl is created by introducing a tiny piece of mantle tissue from a mussel by injecting it into the mollusk that is returned to its natural habitat which is an environment of freshwater to grow and to be tended for a period of up to 6 years. With there being no bead nuclei to act as a guide, the pearls thus formed are not perfectly round or as beautiful as the other.
That’s just a summary of what freshwater vs. cultured pearls is all about, but is certainly not everything that is there learn about this fascinating subject. As long as there are women who can never resist the simple charm and elegance of the pearl, we can be sure that there will be more than enough of a demand for freshwater or saltwater cultured pearls to keep the industry thriving and expanding.