Freshwater pearls are grown in mussels living in rivers and lakes.
Saltwater pearls are created by oysters in oceans and originate from places such as Thailand, Australia, Indonesia ,Tahiti and Philippines.
Akoya pearls are grown in Japan as well as China and Vietnam, are among the most popular and high-quality varieties of saltwater pearls, prized for their superior lustre and nearly ideal round shape.
Freshwater vs Saltwater Pearls
In the past, freshwater pearls are less lustrous and not as glossy as saltwater pearl.
However, in recent years, due to the improvements in farming techniques, now the lustre of freshwater pearls is comparable to saltwater pearl.
Shape and Colour
Freshwater pearls come in a greater variety of shapes(round, oval, etc.) and colors.
Saltwater pearls are usually are more lustrous and have a rounder shape.
Freshwater pearls used to be cultivated over shorter periods(less than 2 years) and as a result, they were smaller in size.
In recent years, however, many producers started to grow freshwater pearls for a longer time(three to six years), and the resulting pearls are bigger(8-15mm) ,quality is comparable to good saltwater pearls.
Freshwater pearls are cheaper for several reasons.
First freshwater mussels are larger and can thus produce more pearls at a time than can saltwater oysters. As a result, freshwater pearls are more abundant.
Saltwater ones are mostly round and have better lustre-characteristics that are more sought after and therefore command higher prices.
Finally, our freshwater pearls that have been cultivated using modern methods, you will find that these pearls often match the lustre and shape of their saltwater counterparts. But at a more reasonable price.