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Saltwater Pearl necklace with gold chain large beads

Freshwater vs Saltwater Pearls

  1. Origin
    Freshwater pearls are grown in variety types of mussels living in fresh water, like ponds, rivers and lakes.
    Saltwater pearls are formed by oysters in oceans of places. Three main types of saltwater pearls include Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and South Sea pearls.
  2. Pearl Production
    A freshwater mussel can produce 20-30 pearls, while the saltwater oyster pearl can only produce one or two pearls per shell.
  3. Colors
    Freshwater pearls can be found in a range of colors, including white, cream, pink, lilac and so on.
    Saltwater pearls are generally white and cream colored, although black and gold are also two popular colors, like classic Golden South Sea Pearls and Black Tahitian Pearls.
  4. Size and Shape
    Saltwater pearls used to be much larger than freshwater pearls. But today this difference is not as noticeable as freshwater pearls are also often allowed to grow to bigger sizes.
    Freshwater pearls come in a greater variety of shapes (round, oval, button, coin, Keshi, biwa etc.)
    Saltwater pearls are usually round, which is the shape that is most in demand.
  5. Luster
    Saltwater pearls usually have a superior luster and glossy appearance than freshwater pearls. Luster is one of the reasons most customers prefer salt pearls.
  6. Price
    Freshwater pearls are cheaper than saltwater pearls for several reasons.
    First, freshwater mussels can produce more pearls at a time than saltwater oysters.
    Then, Saltwater pearls have better luster and appearance making them have higher prices.

How to choose your pearl?
Most people prefer saltwater pearls due to their higher luster and beauty, but today, some freshwater pearls are almost as lustrous and equally beautiful. If budget is your concern, opting for freshwater pearls is a sensible choice. You will get beautiful pearls at a much lower cost. What’s more, these pearls are also durable.

Next article White & Golden South Sea Pearls