Natural Pearls vs Cultured Pearls

What are the differences between natural pearls vs cultured pearls?

Natural Pearls

Natural pearls like its name, grow naturally, without any human intervention. An organism works its way into the mollusks species of oyster, mussels, clams or snail. The mollusk secretes fluid to coat the irritant as a defense mechanism.  These layers of nacre coating is deposited on the irritant, until a lustruous pearl is form.

Natural pearls may not be as well-shaped or as round as cultured pearls.  Natural pearls are rare and very expensive.  Most pearls sold today are cultured pearls farmed for jewelries.

Cultured Pearls

Cultured pearls are farmed through inserting a small bead into the oysters, mussels or clams.

Cultured pearls can and are produced in freshwater and saltwater. 

Pearl farmers who culture pearls create an environment that would help keep the oysters, mussels and clams alive to allow high quality pearls to be formed.  Both natural pearls and cultured pearls are different in formation, both are real pearls.

Saltwater pearls like the South Sea Pearls, Tahitian Pearls and Akoya Pearls are usually more valuable than freshwater pearls due to their beautiful lustre, thick nacre with rich overtone colours.

Freshwater pearls grow in rivers, lakes, reservoirs and ponds from Asia, Australia and USA.