Freshwater pearls are the most popular in the world and thanks to the wide range of colours, the charming character and the attractive price, they are loved by designers as well as by people who choose to wear them.
They are distinguished by their brightness, they also have a wide variety of sizes and colours, reaching even extravagant shapes. Imagine, a single oyster can produce up to 50 pearls at a time, although the ‘classic’ production is 24-32 pearls per mollusc.
Where they come from and how they are produced
Freshwater pearls are produced from the oyster Hyriopsis Cumingii, mainly in China.
Within each molluscum, from 24 to 32 tiny pieces of mantle tissue from a sacrificial oyster of the same species are surgically inserted with a process known as nucleation. Once inserted, the same number of pearl bags will be created and the epithelial cells will begin to secrete layers of mother-of-pearl, called nacre.
Over the course of 2-7 years, the oysters will deposit several layers of mother-of-pearl which will solidify and produce two dozen pearls grouped within each valve of the oyster.
Once collected, the pearls will be carefully ordered and matched in size, shape, colour and quality to be placed on the market.
A Rainbow of Colors
Freshwater pearls offer a wider variety of colours, shapes and sizes than any other type of pearl, revealing a rainbow of natural pastel colours such as lavender, pink and all the intermediate shades.
Their sizes range from tiny beads of 1 or 2 mm in diameter to 15 mm or more. Their shapes are varied: baroque, oval, button, drop, semi-round and round.
A Pearl for Every Style
Freshwater pearls are a common variety and this aspect makes them particularly accessible, but round and semi-round shapes are particularly rare (just 5% of the total harvested).
If you want to wear a jewel assembled with round freshwater pearls, remember that this is a particularly sophisticated selection and that the value will be appropriate to their degree of rarity.