Akoya Pearls are grown in the cool to temperate saltwater of Japan. This temperature allows for the pearl to develop highly uniform mineral crystals resulting in brilliant luster. Akoya Pearls are believed to have the highest luster of all types. It takes between 8 and 24 months for a pearl to grow. The size can range anywhere from 2 to 10 millimeters. The average is 6 to 7 millimeters. The colors range from rose, silver, white, cream, gold, and gray blue. We take great care to personally select our Akoya cultured pearls for the discriminating lady.
Freshwater pearls are formed in lakes, rivers, ponds, and other freshwater bodies, mainly in China. Up to 40 pearls can be produced in one mussel. Today, science has vastly improved, resulting in higher quality freshwater pearls. It takes 3 to 7 years for the pearls to grow. Their size ranges from 3-13 millimeters. Freshwater pearls come in a variety of pastel shades including: pink, peach, lavender, gray, yellow, and cream. Freshwater cultured pearls are very affordable and can offer many choices to your timeless collection.
South Sea pearls are grown in the warm, pure waters of Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, and Thailand in the oyster Pinctada Maxima, known as the Silver Lipped and the Gold Lipped Oysters. These pearls are the largest and rarest grown. It takes 20-24 months to grow the pearl and there are many complications that can cause them to die. South Sea pearls range from 9 to 20 millimeters, although the average size is 13. Their colors include silver/pink, white, white/pink, white/gold, and gold.
Tahitian pearls are grown in the Pinctada Margaritfera oyster (also known as the Black Lipped Oyster). Tahitian pearls are found throughout the waters of the French Polynesia. Only one in 10,000 of these oysters produce a pearl and because of the rarity, they cannot be mass produced. It takes 22 to 26 months for a pearl to grow and a size range from 8 to 18 millimeters. Tahitian pearl color includes peacock, black/black, black/gray, silver/gray, black/rose, black/blue, black/green, and eggplant.
Care Of Cultured Pearls
Pearls are organic, very soft, and need special attention. They should never be stored on top of other gemstones, but should be stored in a jewelry pouch by themselves.
Besides being soft, pearls are easily damaged by chemicals like perfumes, soaps, and body oils. Heat and dry air can cause them to dry out and crack. The oils from your skin can help lesson the possibility of the pearls drying out. Because of their delicate nature, special care should be taken when cleaning your pearls.
- Only use jewelry cleaners labeled for pearls
- Never use an Ultrasonic cleaner
- Never steam pearls
- Never expose them to cleaners or detergents that contain bleach, ammonia, or baking soda.
- Never use toothbrushes or scouring pads to clean them.
- Keep them away from hairsprays, cosmetics, etc.
- Never wear them while showering and swimming
Use a soft, slightly damp cloth with a gentle Ivory soap and gently wipe them clean. Then use a clean damp cloth to rinse off any remaining soap residue. Store them on a soft white cloth while they’re drying. Do not wear or hang your pearls while the silk or nylon is still wet, as this may cause the silk or nylon to stretch.