We get this question quite often – ‘are freshwater pearls worth the money?’ The answer is simple – absolutely. There are several reasons that these pearls are worth a second look.
Freshwter pearls contain more nacre
When drilling the freshwater pearl, the mantle tissue used to nucleate the pearl is drilled out or dissolved. This means that you have a solid pearl that does not have any immediate flaws, meaning it can last you a lifetime. You buy a quality pearl that does not contain the nucleus in the finished product. This guarantees that freshwater pearls have a unique, glassy luster that you cannot find anywhere else.
They have a different bearer
Many of the South Sea, Tahitian, or Akoya pearls are cultured in saltwater oysters. However, freshwater mollusks (such as the Triangle Shell) are commonly used to culture freshwater pearls. Whereas most oysters are only able to produce one or two pearls at once, a single freshwater mollusk may bear upwards of 50 pearls at one time. This means that freshwater pearls are more efficient without forsaking quality.
Their abundance means a lower price
Just a little more than 15 years ago, Lake Biwa (very close to Kyoto, Japan) was one of the few places where you could find freshwater pearls. Unfortunately, pollution was one of the main reasons that many of those pearl farms shut down about a decade ago. While this may have been horrible news for the local pearl production in Japan, it was ultimately good news for the consumer. Nowadays most of the freshwater cultured pearls come from freshwater rivers and lakes in China. Because pearl-bearing mussels are extremely sensitive to pollution, the freshwater pearls that you will see for sale come from remote lakes of China. These high quality pearls are grown in an area where the labor cost is lower, which means that prospective buyers get a more affordable pearl that retains the original quality.
Another reason that freshwater pearls are worth a look is that there is no shortage of great colors available. You can choose between gray, gold, blue, pink, cream, or white. If you are interested in having your pearl jewelry match your specific outfit, freshwater pearls are great options.
If you absolutely love the look of pearls but do not love the price tag, freshwater pearls are a tremendous option. They are attractive without being as expensive.