Freshwater Pearl Jewelry
Prices starting at $240!
Today's freshwater pearls are rounder, larger and more lustrous than ever, presenting a great value in affordable-yet-beautiful pearl jewelry
About Freshwater Pearls
- Cultured mostly in Chinese freshwater rivers and lakes. Some are cultured in Japan and other locations as well.
- Some erroneously perceive Freshwater Pearls as being small and irregularly-shaped. While true in the past, today's Freshwater pearls have become larger and rounder as cultivation techniques improve. Today, they rival any other type of pearl in roundness, and they rival Tahitian and South-Sea pearls in size: examples of 12mm and larger are beginning to appear.
- Freshwater pearls, while beautiful, typically do not achieve quite the same luster as saltwater pearls, and prices are thus more affordable. But as quality increases, prices have been rising too.
- Freshwater pearls were cultured in Japan starting in the early 1900's, but production was limited, peaking at 6 tons in 1971, before pollution wiped out most Japanese production. Large-scale freshwater pearl farming started in the 1970's and 80's with current production levels over 1,500 tons annually.
- Freshwater pearl culturing is advancing rapidly. Pearls produced early on were mostly rice-grain shaped. Later a "potato" oval shape was produced, and more recently near-round and round pearls are being produced.
- Freshwater pearls come in a broad variety of colors. Many are bleached to produce white coloration, or dyed to mimic the gray or golden hues of other pearls. As pearls are porous, the dyes are absorbed deep into the pearl and are effectively permanent. Dying of pearls has become widely accepted.