Freshwater vs Saltwater Pearls

If you have looked into buying pearls, the first thing that you’ll find is that most pearls are separated into different categories. Here at National Pearl, we offer many versions of South Sea pearls, Japanese Akoya pearls, and a beautiful selection of freshwater pearls. When you look through our collections, it may be difficult to figure out what the difference is between a pearl necklace made from Akoya pearls and one made from freshwater pearls, so what really differentiates them?

An open, freshwater pearl mussel.

Photo via RedOrbit

Freshwater Pearls – The Modern Miracle

Freshwater pearls are interesting in that cultivating them is dramatically different than making a saltwater pearl. While the cultivation of a saltwater pearl is left up to a variety of factors, from the whims of mother nature to the pollutants in the water and the care of the divers who handle the mollusks, freshwater pearls are a much different story.

A freshwater pearl was originally considered to be of a lower standard, because the methods of cultivation that were brought over by saltwater pearl experts left the pearls misshapen or otherwise damaged, often resembling grains of rice. Today, the art of cultivating a freshwater pearl has been honed to a science, so that you can now create a variety of beautiful pearl options in tightly controlled settings. This gives jewelers the ability to select pearls in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, allowing for incredible pearl necklaces and bracelets that are limited only by their imagination.

Saltwater Pearls – A Tale Of Persistence

For such a beautiful object, saltwater pearls lead a tough life. Since there is no way to cultivate saltwater pearls in such tightly controlled conditions, pearl farms are located in open seas. This type of environment leaves the mollusk open to changing water conditions, diseases, and other factors that can easily kill an entire mollusk population quickly.

For those who survive however, the resulting product is an incredibly beautiful pearl that has survived tremendous adversity to make it onto your pearl jewelry. Even though pearls are being produced in mollusks around the world, the perils of life in the ocean mean that most of them will never end up making it out of the sea.

Even when they do we select only the finest pearl specimens for our jewelry, ensuring that each pearl necklace, pearl bracelet, or other piece of pearl jewelry that we sell is top of the line.

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