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Pearl Types

Freshwater Pearls

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Our high quality freshwater pearls make it easy to select a beautiful piece of jewelry with affordable price. The attractive characteristics of freshwater pearls have made them one of the most favorite gems in jewelry design worldwide. Pearl lovers like that freshwater pearls come in a wide range of natural colors – white, pink, orange, yellow, lavender and grey. The presence of overtone colors such as pink and silver makes freshwater pearls even more attractive and valuable.

Today cultured freshwater pearls are closest to natural pearls in growth. A piece of mantle which is a tissue that secrets the pearly substance called nacre is inserted into a mussel to create the non-bead cultured freshwater pearls. Overt time nacre is secreted to form the pearl body. Freshwater pearls therefore are formed with a whole nacre – which is the pearl material, as opposed to the saltwater cultured pearls, usually originating from the insertion of a shell bead nucleus. The whole nacre makes freshwater pearls very durable. Nacre thickness is also a critical element in judging the quality of cultured pearls. The thicker the nacre coating of a pearl, the better and more durable the pearl.

It usually takes 3-5 years or even longer and dedicated efforts to cultivate the freshwater pearls. High quality freshwater pearls, round, lustrous, smooth, and blemish-free are hard to find. Therefore their value could be comparable to similar quality saltwater pearls. 

Magori only selects the top 5% graded high quality freshwater pearls, which are round, smooth, and lustrous. Magori Signature™ collection features collection quality freshwater pearls, which are the top 0.03% finest freshwater pearls available. Click here to view all freshwater pearl jewelry. Our freshwater cultured pearls are all in their natural colors, undyed or untreated. Explore different colors and styles in our pearl color collection.

Besides classic pearl necklaces, including pearl strands and pearl pendants, we also have a wide collection of pearl earrings, in almost any style. You can also match with pearl bracelets, to create your own sets, or select from our pearl set collection.

Read more about Freshwater Pearls' characteristics:
  • Formed from Hyriopsis cumingii, or hybrid mussels
  • Most of the time, freshwater pearls are non-bead cultured with whole nacre
  • Usually cultured in lakes and ponds
  • Occur in wide range of sizes, ranging from about 6.0mm to 11.5mm and even 12.0mm
  • Occur in a wide range of colors, white, pink, orange, yellow, lavender and grey
  • Most of freshwater pearls are from China
Akoya Pearls

Akoya Pearls

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Akoya pearls are saltwater pearls formed from the Akoya oyster. Akoya pearls are commonly known as Japanese pearls. Today, other places such as China, Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka also culture pearls using the Akoya oyster. Akoya pearls are typically roundish, and natural body colors normally range from light pink, to white, to yellowish. The size of Akoya pearls is generally from 3 to 7mm, and occasionally can reach 9-10mm.

  • Formed from Akoya oyster (Pinctada fucata)
  • Most of the time, Akoya pearls are bead cultured
  • Cultured in saltwater
  • Colors: White or cream, some with hints of pink or green
  • Size: Generally between 3-7mm but can occasionally reach 9-10mm
Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian Pearls

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Black pearls come from the black-lip oyster in the Western to Central Pacific Ocean or from the La Paz oyster (Pinctada mazatlanica) or rainbow-lipped oyster (Pteria sterna) in the Eastern Pacific between Baja California and Peru. Here, “back” is referring to the natural colors of these types of saltwater pearls, but often the colors can range from a light to dark grey, and may even look green, pink, lavender, blue or brown. Peacock green often is the most valued color. Tahitian pearls, are one of the black pearls, found in French Polynesia and are marketed in Tahiti, so not all black pearls are Tahitian pearls. The size of Tahitian pearls is generally between 7-12mm but can very occasionally reach over 16mm.

  • Formed from black-lipped pearl oyster (Pinctada margaritifera)
  • Most of the time, Tahitian pearls are bead cultured
  • Cultured in saltwater in French Polynesia
  • Colors: Eggplant purple, peacock green, metallic grey, and greyish blue
  • Size: Generally between 7-12mm but can very occasionally reach over 16mm
South Sea Pearls

South Sea Pearls

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South Sea pearls are sometimes signifying any saltwater pearl found in the area extending from the Philippines and Indonesia down to Australia and across to French Polynesia. More often it refers specifically to large white or yellow pearls cultured in the Pinctada maxima oyster – a large oyster found in the South Seas, also called the silver-lip or yellow-lip (or gold lip) oyster. South Sea pears tend to range from 8-16mm, whereas Akoya pearls usually range smaller. Colors of the South Sea pearls can be silver, white, and golden. South Sea pearls are also the most expensive pearls in the market, due to their rarity in size and color. No other pearls grow as large as South Sea pearls.

  • Formed from silver- or gold-lipped pearl oyster (Pinctada maxima)
  • Most of the time, South Sea pearls are bead cultured
  • Cultured in saltwater in a variety of places – Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar
  • Colors: Silver, white, and golden
  • Size: Generally between 8-16mm but can very occasionally reach over 20mm

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