Nothing outshines the perfection wrapped in the small precious gems that are pearls. These small, rounded, precious gems have always been a symbol of purity and beauty. Owning a pearl necklace is a dream for many women out there.

Many would consider their jewelry collection incomplete without at least one pearl necklace. Luckily for those women, there are different types of pearls that they can choose from!

So, whether you’re trying to buy a new one or attempting to identify the type of pearls that you already have, the following information should be of help.

Pearl Varieties

South Sea Pearls

These pearls are formed in the salt waters of Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines and they’re more distinct than their counterparts due to their large size. South sea pearls are the largest pearls by far, as they range in size from 9mm to 20mm.

They also come in different colors: white, cream, silver, and gold, according to the type of oyster they’re harvested from.

Unlike the other types, they have the thickest nacre, and their luster is more luminous due to light reflecting off the aragonite platelets that constitute these pearls. This gives them the highest value and the highest price range in the pearl market.

Size and price are the main indicators of South Sea pearls, but you can identify them by their unique, natural glow as well.

Tahitian Pearls

Pearl enthusiasts will often associate black pearls with Tahitian pearls, which is understandable, considering that most colors oF the Tahitian pearl spectrum are of black gradient.

Despite the name, Tahitian pearls, as the expert jewelers over at purepearls.com/collections/black-pearl-necklaces explain, are not only produced in Tahiti, but across the Polynesian islands as well.

They have an average size that ranges between 8mm and 16mm, which makes them more suitable for necklace manufacturing than South Sea pearls, and their sparkling black colors are naturally formed in the black-lip oyster, Pinctada Margaritifera.

Although Tahitian pearls are commonly black, they come in other unique colors as well, like green and peacock. South Sea pearls are quite popular among pearl experts, but black Tahitian pearls now have the highest demand on the market.

Akoya Pearls

The smallest pearls on this list, Akoya pearls, are naturally grown in Japanese and Chinese waters. These lustrous white pearls usually come in an average size of 2mm. However, they can come in larger sizes on rare occasions.

The reason for their small size is because they come from the petite Pinctada fucata martensii oysters, but the small size does not take away from their beauty; in fact, it makes them one of the best pearls on the market.

Unlike South Sea pearls and Tahitian pearls, Akoya pearls generally have a white or cream color with no variations, which is why they are considered the typical option for jewelry, particularly for classic, single-strand necklaces.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are the most common type, and they’re quite popular among pearl buyers and jewelry designers.

Due to their variant sizes, shapes, and colors, it is hard to tell them apart from the other types of pearls, which indicates that they’re available on the market and have a lower price range.

These beauties are cultured in freshwater and they’re rarely produced naturally. This reason alone makes them more diverse than the other types, providing more options for buyers to choose from at a lower price point.

Although they are common in the market, China is the main producer of freshwater pearls. Many people consider them to be quite similar to the Akoya pearls, with their thick nacre being the one feature that makes them different.

So, if you seek quality, beauty, and average pricing all packed into one, then you should go for freshwater pearls.

Mabe Pearls

Most pearls are curved and spherical, which is a key feature that distinguishes them from other precious stones. Mabe Pearls, however, break the rules by simply not being spherical.

In fact, due to the flat side that these pearls have, they are commonly called “semi-spherical, refined pearls” or “half pearls”.

These unique gems come in rare colors, like light pink and gold that can create rainbow-like hues, but they also come in more typical colors, like blue, and white.

Although they are grown in Australia, Japan, and Indonesia, they are actively shipped to different parts of the world.

Now that you know about the different types of pearls out there, you can shop for the exact ones you like. You should note, however, that these precious gems are fragile and need regular maintenance.

So if you want to preserve your pearls’ radiance, then a pearl care kit is a must to maintain its quality for years to come.