9 Different Types Of Pearls

We shall be discussing on the different types of pearls and quality, pearls names, types of pearls colors and value.

What’s A Pearl?

According to Wikipedia, A pearl is a hard, glistening object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk or another animal, such as fossil conulariids.

Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is composed of calcium carbonate (mainly aragonite or a mixture of aragonite and calcite) in minute crystalline form, which has deposited in concentric layers.

The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes, known as baroque pearls, can occur.

The finest quality of natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries.

Because of this, pearl has become a metaphor for something rare, fine, admirable and valuable.

9 Different Types Of Pearls To Know

• Cultured Freshwater Pearls

Types Of Pearls
Cultured Freshwater Pearls

Cultured freshwater pearls are pearls that are farmed and created using freshwater mussels.

These pearls are produced in Japan and the United States on a limited scale, but are now almost exclusively produced in China.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires that farmed freshwater pearls be referred to as “freshwater cultured pearls” in commerce.

Quality of cultured freshwater pearls is evaluated through a grading system of a series of A values, based on luster, shape, surface, colour and matching.

• Akoya Pearl Oyster

Types Of Pearls
Akoya Pearl Oyster

Akoya pearl oyster is a species of marine bivalve mollusc in the family Pteriidae, the pearl oysters. Some authorities classify this oyster as Pinctada imbricata fucata (Gould, 1850).

It is native to shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific region and is used in the culture of pearls.

• Tahitian Pearl

Types Of Pearls
Tahitian Pearl

The Tahitian pearl (or black pearl) is an organic gem formed from the black lip oyster (Pinctada margaritifera).

These pearls derive their name from the fact that they are primarily cultivated around the islands of French Polynesia, around Tahiti.

• Baroque Pearls

Types Of Pearls
Baroque Pearls

Baroque pearls are types of pearls with an irregular, non-spherical shape. Shapes can range from minor aberrations to distinctly ovoid, curved, pinched, or lumpy shapes.

Most cultured freshwater pearls are baroque because freshwater pearls are mantle-tissue nucleated instead of bead nucleated.

Cultured saltwater pearls can also be baroque, but tend to be more teardrop-shaped due to the use of a spherical, nucleation bead.

The most valuable baroque pearls are the South Sea and the Tahitian pearls, which are produced by Pinctada margaritifera (black-lipped oysters) and Pinctada maxima (gold-lipped and white-lipped oysters).

Although these are a variety of cultured saltwater pearls, the amount of time that the pearls are cultured dramatically increases the depth of the nacre, and the likelihood of producing a baroque pearl.

• Quahog Pearls

Types Of Pearls
Quahog Pearls

Quahog pearls are non-nacreous pearls comprised of fibrous aragonite and organic matter.

These pearls grow in Mercenaria mercenaria, a hard saltwater clam native to the New England coast.

The value of quahog pearl depends on several factors. The size, the shape, the color (how deep the purple is or whether it is actually lavender), the surface quality all play a large part.

A quahog can sell for $100 per carat, or even more than $1000 per carat based on these attributes.

• South Sea Pearls

Types Of Pearls
South Sea Pearls

South Sea pearls are the rarest of all the types of pearls. They are cultivated in saltwater and have thicker nacre layers than any other pear, averaging around 2-4mm thick.

Like most saltwater oysters, they are bead nucleated. Their growth period is 2-4 years, about double that of Akoya pearls.

South Sea pearls are considered the most valuable. They are also the largest pearl variety on the market. A strand of South Sea pearls can range from $1,000 to over $100,000.

• Abalone Pearls

Types Of Pearls
Abalone Pearls

These type of pearl is the most colorful of all pearl-producing mollusks, abalone, are found in rocky, coastal waters around the world.

Though fairly plentiful, these rock-hugging snails rarely produce pearls. When they do, the cause is usually an inner shell or intestinal disturbance.

Because of their scarcity and irregularity, abalone pearls don’t have the same value as traditional pearls. they’re not a mainstream gemstone and jewelers don’t rely on them as a consistent material for jewelry-making.

Although they aren’t in huge demand, high-quality abalone pearls can cost upwards of $1000.

• Sea Of Cortez Pearl

Cortez Pearls are rare saltwater cultured pearls from the rainbow-lipped Pteria sterna oyster, native to Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

Pearls are organic gems, created when a mollusk covers a foreign object with beautiful layers of nacre, the mother of pearl.

Prices for sea of cortez pearls start at $1,650 and top out at $31,300.

• Conch Pearls

Types Of Pearls
Conch Pearls

Conch pearls are natural pearls, meaning they are formed by nature without human intervention.

They are produced by a Queen conch (pronounced ‘conk’) mollusk, which is a large, edible sea snail that lives in the Caribbean Sea.

Excellent pearls today can cost as much as $15,000 per carat and more, but those are the exceptionally rare ones.

Top-grade conch pearls are more typically around $4,000-$7,000 per carat and nice, but not necessarily perfect, pearls around $2,000-$3,000.

What Quality Types Of Pearls Is The Best?

  1. Rare Gemstones In The World
  2. Powerful Crystals For Protection
  3. Different Types Of Rocks

White South Sea and Golden South Sea pearls are the most sought-after cultured versions of the gems in the world.

That’s because they are the rarest, and offer the most luster and greatest pearls sizes.

Both Golden South Sea and White South Sea pearls are cultivated in saltwater.

South Sea pearls are considered the most valuable. They are also the largest pearl variety on the market. A strand of South Sea pearls can range from $1,000 to over $100,000.

What Pearls Color Is Best?

Types Of Pearls
Types Of Pearls Color

The 22K to 24K Golden tone is a “Very Deep” natural Golden color. Golden South Sea pearls featuring the 22K to 24K hues are the rarest and most valuable (all other factors being equal).

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