Cairns Jewellery – The Pearl
Three main types of cultured pearls today
- The akoya pearl 3mm – 10mm from the pinctada fucata oyster, is found in the hidden bays off the coast of Japan, in the cold saltwater of the Pacific Ocean. The Akoya pearl is known for its superb lustre, perfectly round shape & beautiful colour consistency, with a dazzling range of silver whites through to creamy golds. Mikimoto was one of the first to patent the method of producing round cultured pearls back in 1916.
- The south sea saltwater pearl, which is amongst the world's largest from 8mm to 20mm, are highly sought due to their size, colour and luminous lustre. They are grown inside the largest pearl-producing oyster, the Pinctada Maxima & colours vary from silvery white, cream or gold & they can have subtle hues of pink, blue or green. These are farmed mainly in Australia & Indonesia. Tahitian pearls also found in the Pacific, are from a black lipped oyster, the Pinctada Margaritifera, giving them their extraordinary iridescent colours of greens, purple, pinks and blacks & are farmed in French Polynesia, around Tahiti & the Cook Islands.
- Lastly freshwater pearls found in lakes and rivers in China are produced in mussels. The Chinese have recently revolutionised the pearl industry by producing larger & larger sizes of freshwater pearls, which imitate the south sea pearl in their size today. They started as the smaller “rice bubble” pearls… you may remember & can now be grown to 15mm in size!
As pearls are organic & porous, they can absorb makeup and perfume, which can slowly ruin their nacre, which gives them their lustre & shine, so please avoid these if you’re wearing pearl adorned pieces of jewellery!
If you are looking for that special pearl, the finest selection of engagement rings or wedding rings or a custom design, call into Jules Collins Cairns jewellery shop or visit our online store. We have been designing jewellery since 1994 and would love to help you chose your unique piece.