Different Types of Pearls Used in Making Jewellery

Pearls are iconic objects of beauty, they are ideal for making both fine and costume jewellery because of their traditional appeal and yet modern style. From formal to casual use, you can wear them on various occasions with all kinds of attires.

Pearls are found in various shapes and sizes with different origins, such as cultured, blister and baroque. Each type of pearl has a unique appearance which adds to the beauty of a jewellery item.

Many people are unaware of the fact that not all pearls are the same. That’s why we have compiled different types of pearls used in jewellery to help you identify them.

Blister Pearls
Blister pearls, as the name suggests, have a blister-like appearance. They are attached to the inside surface of shells, unlike the traditional pearl that grows within the mollusk’s body. When a piece of mud or any other substance attaches to the shell as a nucleus, the blisters appear. They have bumpy growths on them, without a uniform appearance, and they can be found in saltwater and freshwater mollusks. These unusual pearls are mainly found in antique jewellery items such as pendants and brooches.

Baroque Pearls
Baroque pearls have an irregular, non-spherical shape. They are obtained from both freshwater and saltwater sources. They have an uneven texture and each pearl has its very own shape and size. South Sea and Tahitian pearls are some of the most valuable baroque pearls in the world. Since less than 10% of pearls found in freshwater are of round shape, the rest of pearls are baroque. They can be either natural or cultured (created by an oyster farmer under controlled conditions).

Akoya Pearls
Akoya pearls are the most famous and commonly used pearls in jewellery. They are cultured pearls that have a round or oval shape which ranges from 2mm to 10mm. They are produced by Pinctada Fucata, a small oyster found in the seas of China and Japan. They have a white or cream-coloured body with shades of blue, silver and pink.
The lustrous appeal and perfect shape of akoya pearls make them an ideal choice for bridal jewellery items such as tiaras, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Freshwater Pearls
Freshwater pearls are found in ponds and lakes in China. They are available in a variety of shapes, such as oval, round, button, baroque and drop. These free-form pearls are mainly found in river mussels dating from the 1800s onward. The newer versions are more uniform in shape but less valuable compared to the older ones.
The natural shape and distinct appeal of freshwater pearls have made them the most popular choice for creating art pieces, fine jewellery and costume jewellery to complement both traditional and modern outfits.

Hopefully, this blog post helped in explaining the different types of pearls used in jewellery. Each piece is different because of its unique feature, shape and origin. The next time you buy jewellery, make sure that you find out which type of pearl you are getting.

To learn more about buying and selling jewellery and other valuable items, you can contact Oren Jewellery, one of the leading jewellery buyers in Toronto.