Different types of pearls

The graceful simplicity of pearls has adorned many throughout the ages and still reigns strongly. Today, it is not uncommon to find one wearing pearls casually as well as formally. This lustrous milky jewel of the sea is loved by all ages.


There are various types of pearls with varying color, size and value.

Natural Pearl

Although very rare, these beauties have been over-harvested and are quite difficult to find. Most are found within the Persian Gulf area. Natural pearls are the most expensive pearl in the world. The odds of finding a natural pearl is 1 in every 10,000.

Cultured Pearl

Cultured pearls are pearls produced by farming oysters. By using human intervention, a foreign body is introduced into the oyster causing it to secret what’s known as nacre. This secretion is excreted in layers (over time) around the foreign body within the oyster. This process produces the cultured pearl.

There are 4 different types of Cultured Pearl:


Many refer to Akoya pearls as the “classic” pearl. The perfectly rounded shape and lustrous brilliant color makes this pearl the most common choice among consumers. Akoya pearls are mainly farmed and produced in the regions of Japan and China.

Colors: white, rose, silver, gray, blue, gold, black

Shapes: rounded

Price: $300 to $10,000

South Sea

The South Sea pearl is the most valuable all cultured pearls and are farmed in the coastal regions of Australia, Indonesia and Philippines. This pearl grows to be the largest of all pearls and some have been known to grow as large as a china plate! Because of the size, this pearl is quite rare and valuable.

Colors: white, cream, silver

Shapes: rounded

Price: $1,000 to $100,000


The Tahitian pearl is farmed along the French Polynesian volcanic regions. These pearls are come in a range of beautiful colors and provide the consumer a more exotic choice of pearl.

Colors: blue, dark green, light green, brown, peacock luster, black, gray, aborigine

Shapes: rounded, ringed, baroque, oval, ringed, button, drop

Price: $500 to $25,000


You will find Freshwater pearls in lakes, rivers and ponds in various regions of China and U.S. These pearls are affordably priced and provides consumers with a comparable set of pearls to that of the Akoya pearl.

Colors: white, lavender, pink, white, cream, darker metallics

Price: $50 to $2,000