Cultured Pearl vs Freshwater Pearl vs Saltwater Pearl: From A to Z

Jan 27, 2024
Cultured Pearl vs Freshwater Pearl vs Saltwater Pearl: From A to Z

Cultured Pearl vs Freshwater Pearl vs Saltwater Pearl: From A to Z

In the world of aesthetics and jewellers there are only a few items that stand out like pearls. Coming from the lap of nature itself, pearls stand out as light manifested in physical form.

But did you know there are different types of pearls? Well, you aren’t the only one. There are actually three types of pearls that we shall be discussing today,  cultured pearls, freshwater pearls, and saltwater pearls.

Now, if you want to learn more about these pearls, this blog is for you. Here, we shall be discussing all you need to know about cultured pearl vs freshwater pearl vs saltwater pearl. Therefore, with this being said, let’s get right into it:

Understanding Pearls

For those who are new to the entire concept, pearls, often also referred to as “nature’s gems” are tiny circular objects formed via protective confines in oysters as well as mollusks.

This amazing natural phenomenon takes place when a foreign substance entire body, this can be grain of dirt or even a parasite inside mollusk.

To avoid irritation, the creature will secret aragonite and conchiolin layers which coats the said object turning it into a pearl. Now that we know what pearls are, let’s discuss different types in the next section of the blog.

Cultured Pearl vs Freshwater Pearl vs Saltwater Pearl

In this section of the blog, we shall be discussing each of the cultured pearls vs freshwater pearls vs saltwater pearls. Therefore, with this being said, let’s get right into it, starting with the first one:

Cultured Pearls

We said pearls are natural, but what if there’s human intervention? Well, that’s what we call a cultured pearl. This happens when pearl farmers intentionally introduce a foreign object to the creature in order to create pleasure. This is not as simple as it seems mind you. 

The farmer has to deal with insertion and extraction of the pearl from the mollusk. While not entirely natural, there are some certain advantages of cultured pearls, let’s go through them in the next section.

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Features of Cultured Pearls

Variety in Cultivation: 

One of the big advantages of this type of pearl is it offers a big variety. Since they are farmed, their size, shape, and even colour can be controlled as per market demand. 

Pearl Farming Techniques: 

The pearl framing technique is not something that you can learn in a day or two. Rather these are practices that are developed over generation. These practices allow us to create more pearls than ever before.

Sustainable Practices: 

Lastly, one big advantage of a cultured pearl is that it’s sustainable. No creatures are harmed during its harvesting. But we can’t say the same about other pearl types on the list.

Freshwater Pearls

Second one on our list is freshwater pearls. As the name suggests, these are the pearls that are created within freshwater mussels. These are a little difficult to harvest then previous, but since freshwater is found mostly in-land, they can be found easily. These ones are unique in a way that they appear different with irregular shape, making it seem natural. Speaking of which, freshwater pearls are mainly harvested in China, but you can find them all over the  world.

Features of Freshwater Pearls

Shape and Size Diversity: 

When it comes to the features like shape and size, freshwater pearls are truly unique. Their irregular shape and size give them that unmistakable natural look that one can’t fake.

Natural Colours: 

Coming directly from the lap of mother nature, you can find the most beautiful colours in natural freshwater pearls. This is one of the main selling points of these types of pearls.

Versatility in Jewelry Design: 

coming two above points i.e. unique colour and irregular shape gives freshwater pearls another advantage. This is the way they can be used to make jewellery. Their uniqueness allows them to be used in equally unique jewerly making.

Saltwater Pearls

Lastly, we have the most expensive and rare type of pearls, the saltwater pearls.

As the name suggests, they are found in salty water bodies, which mainly means sea and oceans. This includes akoya pearls from Japan, Tahitian pearls from French Polynesia, as well as South Sea pearls from Australian sea and around Indonesia & Philippines. 

And let us tell you, this is the most expensive type of pearls in the market.

Features of Saltwater Pearls:

Exquisite Colour Palette: 

If you want pearls in exotic shades, you are looking for Saltwater pearls. They come in a range of colours starting from peacock green, midnight black, and going to golden hues. This is why they are used in high-end jewerly making

Larger Sizes and Exceptional Lustre: 

Speaking of size and lustre in pearls, there are hardly any that compare to saltwater pearls. They are just top of the line in this category, making them super expensive.

Rare and Precious: 

What is expensive in this world is rarity. And that’s the keyword that defines saltwater pearls.

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So, that’s the in-depth analysis of cultured pearls vs freshwater pearls vs saltwater pearls. Now, to wrap it all up, we shall be discussing some important FAQs related to the blog. 


Q1: What are cultured pearls, and how are they created?

A1: The term cultured pearls refers to the pearls which are formed by human intervention. This happens when farmers introduce a foreign object to mollusk and it coats it to create pearls. 

Q2: What sets freshwater pearls apart from other types?

A2: Things that make freshwater pearls stand out from the rest is their unique shape, size, and colour  as well as their irregularities.

Q3: Where are saltwater pearls found, and what makes them valuable?

A3: saltwater pearls as the name suggests are mostly found in sea and oceans with a few expectations. What makes them unique is their colour, size, and rarity.

Q4: Are cultured pearls eco-friendly?

A4: Yes, cultured pearls are sustainable as they involve no harm to living creatures during harvesting. This eco-friendly practice makes them a preferable choice for environmentally conscious consumers.

Q5: Which type of pearl is the most expensive?

A5: The answer is Saltwater pearls. This includes its various types like Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea pearls. These are the most expensive due to their rarity, exquisite colour palette, larger sizes, and exceptional lustre. 

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