Water Pearls

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Frequently Asked Questions...

Does any one know the difference between a " Fresh Water Pearl" and a " Cultured Pearl"?

I was given a ring for X-mas and it is a "cultured" pearl and I noticed that in an ad for jewelery it offers either cultured or fresh water pearls! And how does one take care of a "cultured pearl" ?

Best Answer...


You have asked a question that seems simple but has a very complex answer. I will try to make my answer simple as I do not want to write a book on the subject.
Firstly you need to understand that both salt and fresh water pearls can be cultured and in fact 95% or more of all the types of pearls you see for sale are cultured, both fresh and salt water.
The term "cultured pearl" has, over time, come to mean salt water pearls that have been grown by putting a "mother of pearl" bead into various types of oyster and leaving them to get covered by nacre produced by the oyster in farms off the coast of various countries.
Fresh water pearls do occur naturally but these are rare and the ones you can buy are all cultured. The system of production is different, it does not use a bead to start it growing. In the case of fresh water pearls the muscle (not an oyster is opened, a small cut is made in its flesh into which a piece of flesh from another muscle is inserted. In time a pearl form round this insertion. They are grown in rivers and lakes in various countries. The proper name for these pearls is "non nucleated cultured pearls"
As far as caring for your ring remember that pearls are soft and they react with acids. Don't wear your ring as an every day item, use it for the more special occasions. Do not get your cosmetics over it as they can stain it permanently and take it off when you wash your hands or do any cooking/cleaning (vinegar and household chemicals can destroy a pearl in no time flat). If your ring does get dirty use a little gentle detergent in warm water and a soft tooth brush ti clean it - rinse it well with clean water and let it dry. This advice applies to almost all jewellery pearl or not.
Hope this helps a little.