There are many types of pearls including natural and artificial jewels. But did you know, natural pearls are categorized into two sub-classes namely – freshwater pearls and saltwater pearls depending on their source.
What are Freshwater & Saltwater Pearls?
Freshwater pearls are grown in mussel living in rivers and lakes. On the other hand, saltwater pearls are formed by oysters in the oceans. Most freshwater pearls come from China while saltwater pearls are supplied by Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. Mostly saltwater pearls are regarded for their superior lustre and ideal round shape.
How are freshwater and saltwater pearls produced?
Most pearls are cultivated whether these are saltwater or freshwater. Generally, a pearl is created by placing an external object into a mollusk or oyster. It irritates the mollusk resulting into excreting nacre around the external object.
How to differentiate freshwater and saltwater pearls?
There are many differences between freshwater and saltwater pearls. However you can recognize both kinds testifying following factors.
Shape and colour: Saltwater pearls are round, which is the most demanded shape of the mass. Freshwater Pearls appear in many shapes (round, oval, unequal, etc.) and colours.
Size: Saltwater pearls are cultivated for longer periods (three to six years). It makes them bigger (10-20mm) and no less than natural pearls. While freshwater pearls are cultivated for shorter periods (less than 2 years) resulting in smaller size and inferior shape.
Luster: Saltwater pearls’ nacre is thinner and different than freshwater; this makes saltwater pearls
more lustrous and glossy in comparison of their freshwater counterparts. However technology updates have supported to acquire the superior quality in freshwater also.
Nacre: Freshwater pearls’ nacre is thicker than saltwater pearls due to the core piece (the external object around which the nacre forms) inserted in the tiny animal.
Price: freshwater pearls are cheaper for many reasons. First, Farming freshwater pearls offer good probabilities of cultivating good pearls. It has less risk factors like earthquakes, Tsunami, no predators, etc. On the other hand farming saltwater pearls are riskier; still we love it because of its perfectly round shape and brilliant lustre.