About Freshwater Pearls
Freshwater pearls are real pearls that are made by mussels or mollusks in freshwater with human intervention, in an environment controlled by humans. Freshwater pearls are tissue nucleated which means that a tiny piece of mantle tissue is carefully inserted into the mussel shell to serve as an irritant to the mollusk, which causes the creature to secrete the unique liquid substance (called nacre or mother-of-pearl) to coat the irritant with layer upon layer of nacre to form a pearl. Freshwater pearls are therefore, composed entirely of nacre, which is why they seem to have that deep indefinable “inner glow” or warm luster. The formation of a pearl can take from 2 to 6 years.
Freshwater pearls are the most popular type of pearls as they come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, and are elegant and most importantly, affordable. Amongst the various types of pearls available, freshwater pearls are valued for their durable beauty; their diverse natural colors, shapes and sizes; the depth of their warm glow; and to top it all, their affordability.
Freshwater pearls come in a variety of colors ranging from the traditional white, to lavender, peach, pink, aqua silver, and every shade in between. Their shapes range from round to potato-shaped, rice-shaped, stick-shaped, coin-shaped, button-shaped, and drop-shaped and so on. Sizes can range from 1-2mm to 15mm or larger, but the most popular sizes range from 7-8mm to 11-12mm.
China can safely be termed the “Freshwater Pearl Factory of the World” as it is estimated to account for, as much as, 90% of the world’s freshwater pearl production. Freshwater pearl production today is done in many provinces in South China including Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangsu, Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi.