There are different kinds of pearls, and it is natural that this is so, since there are also different species of mollusks and materials that produce this wonder of nature.

Pearls originate as part of a reaction inside certain species of mollusks with shells (such as oysters), which cover with nacre excrescences that produce irritation in their soft tissue.

There are two kinds of pearls from the point of view of how they originate: natural and cultured. In the former, the aforementioned phenomenon occurs spontaneously, so that not necessarily all mollusks at a site have to have pearls.

In contrast, in the case of cultured pearls, the pearl farmer introduces an irritant material into each mollusk to cause it to produce the pearl.

We talk about mollusks and not oysters because there are several species of mollusks that produce pearls, and this variety is reflected in their shapes, dimensions and colors.

In addition to this first division, there are other types of pearls, such as those described below:

Tahitian pearls

They are those pearls that are produced in the seas of Polynesia, and are characterized by adopting different colors: orange, green, gray, gray, blue, gold and can even be black. When they are cultured pearls, they can take from two to three years.

Australian pearls

Australian pearls are among the most coveted pearls and are found and cultivated in Australia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Their colors range from white to black, and they can reach a size of up to 28 mm. They take 3 to 9 years to be ready to be harvested.

Mabe Pearls

They were formerly known as Japanese pearls and are characterized by not being completely spherical and having a flat side, so it is very common for them to be used as earrings.

They are grown in Japan, Australia and Indonesia, and harvest time ranges from six months to two years.

Natural pearls

Both pearls harvested in oyster beds or areas with mussels and other pearl mollusks, as well as those cultivated in pearl farms, are natural pearls. In both cases we are talking about an organic production, although in the case of cultured pearls the irritant element to be covered with mother-of-pearl is introduced artificially.

The value of these pearls varies depending on their size, color, luster and shape.

Artificial pearls

Artificial pearls are those made with resins and other synthetic materials. They tend to lose their luster and turn yellowish, and can also be recognized because they are perfectly round, machine-made or molded.

Freshwater pearls

They are also called freshwater pearls, and began to be cultivated in rivers and lakes in China, although nowadays they are also produced in the United States and Japan.

They take from six months to four years to harvest (the size varies according to the time), and can take different shapes, from smooth to the so-called baroque, which are highly valued.

There are also freshwater pearls produced in the clean rivers of Russia and Europe, although they are currently in danger of extinction.

Freshwater pearls are the product of different species of mussels, and their value may vary according to the species and the area where they are cultivated.

Akoya Pearls

They are pearls cultivated in Akoya, Japan, of small size and can be harvested in a period of one to two years. Their color is between pink and cream, and those grown in salt water are brighter.

Rainbow lip pearls

It is also called Concha Nácar pearl and is cultivated in Baja California Sur, in only two farms. They are black and silver pearls very appreciated for their rarity.


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