Types of Pearls
Japanese: Often the term Japanese pearls is synonymous with Akoya pearls, which simply are saltwater pearls from the Akoya oyster and are usually cultured. Akoya are considered to be the classic pearl with perfect round shapes, bright mirror-like luster and neutral colors.
Freshwater: Best known for their whimsical shapes and wide variety of sizes and colors, the character of a freshwater pearl is found in its distinctive surface texture and the warmth of its luster. They are the most commonly produced pearls today as a freshwater mussel is capable of producing 24 -32 pearls at a time.
Tahitian: Exotic black pearls from the Black-lip pearl oyster, are more commonly known as Tahitian pearls. These pearls are often referred to as black, but have a remarkable color range that covers the spectrum – from light, creamy white and grey, to regal greens, iridescent peacock and deep black.
South Sea: Their large size, limited culturing area, and extended growth period all combine to make South Sea pearls the rarest of all pearl types. Found in colors ranging from optic white to a deep, honey gold, these pearls are prized by collectors and designers alike. The luster of South Seas pearls, whether white or golden, is soft and luxurious.
Keshi pearls: Keshi are an extremely rare form of true Japanese pearls from the Japanese Akoya Oyster found only in the Sea of Japan. Keshi, from the Japanese word for “poppy seed”, can take seven years to form. They are created under difficult circumstances: naturally and in a controlled environment. The versatility of the Keshi pearl is due in part to the fact that they come in many shapes, hues, lusters, colors and sizes. Keshi can range from pure white to tones of gray, blue, green, pink and yellow. One of the remarkable things about keshi is that their color and luster remains unchanged through time.
Care and Cleaning:
As a general rule of thumb, pearls should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. Makeup, hairspray, and perfume all can damage pearls, causing spots, blotches, discoloration, etc. Wearing pearls next to other pieces, metals, or stones, can lead to scratching and dulling of the pearls surface.
Pearls prefer the human bodies’ natural oil. Wearing your pearls helps keep the luster in good shape, so wear them often. Before storing your pearls be sure to take a soft cloth and wipe them off. You can clean pearls under warm water, however this is not recommended with pearls strands or 1/2 drilled pearl pieces. Water will deteriorate the string used on the strand and also wear away the pearl epoxy used on 1/2 drilled pearls.