Baroque Pearls with Coin Medallion | Creamy White

$148.00 CAD

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Baroque Cultured Pearls | Creamy White

Differentiating Freshwater vs Saltwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are grown in mussels living in rivers and lakes compared to Saltwater pearls, which are created by oysters in the ocean.

Most pearls, whether freshwater or saltwater, are cultivated, not natural. This means that a small piece of mollusk tissue or a bead is interred into the mollusk, which then covers it with nacre, the material pearls are actually made of. Pearls created this way are called "cultured pearls".

The longer the growing period for any given pearl, the greater the formed nacre is in terms of quality. However, the longer the pearls are cultivated the more expensive they become. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of saltwater pearls are not natural but cultured.


There have been great improvements in farming techniques and now freshwater pearl lustre has become quite comparable to that of saltwater ones. 


Saltwater pearls have a thinner nacre coating. Freshwater pearls, on the other hand, are made almost entirely of nacre. The reason for this difference is that the core piece, the one around which the nacre forms, inserted in freshwater pearls is a lot smaller than that put inside saltwater ones.

Since the nacre layer of freshwater pearls is thicker, they are more durable than saltwater ones, which are more vulnerable to wear and also more prone to chipping.


Freshwater pearls come in a great variety of shapes and colours. Saltwater pearls are usually only round.


Freshwater pearls used to be cultivated over shorter periods of time (less than two years, and as a result produced smaller pearls and inferior nacre coating. But in recent years, producers started growing freshwater pearls for much longer, three to six years, and as a result, the pearls are bigger and the quality is comparable to that of good saltwater pearls.


Freshwater muscles are larger and can produce more pearls inside one muscle at a time compared to saltwater oysters. As a result, freshwater pearls are much more abundant.

Unlike freshwater pearls, saltwater ones are mostly round and have a better lustre, characteristics that are sought after and that command a higher price.


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