Pearls are beautiful and timeless gems that have been treasured throughout the ages. They are created from the depths of the sea, making them incredibly unique and special. There are many different types of pearls, each one with its own unique characteristics, color, and luster. From the classic white pearl to the opalescent pink pearl, there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for something classic and elegant, or something more unique and eye-catching, the vast array of pearl types available is sure to have something for you. Learn about the various pearl types available and discover what makes each one so special.

Four Major Different Types of Pearls

The four major types of cultured pearls are Akoya, Freshwater, South Sea, and Tahitian. 

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater cultured pearls are the most frequently produced pearls and one of the most popular pearl types for consumers and designers. Their large range of sizes, shapes, and colors, as well as their economic accessibility, account for their popularity. They're often grown in freshwater lakes and ponds, with many pearls grown in one oyster. But gem-quality freshwater pearls can still be costly.

Tahitian Pearls

Around the French Polynesian islands, these saltwater cultured pearls (which are most commonly found in Tahiti) are grown. Their color range is wide, and they may be grey, black, or brown, with blue, green, purple, or pink overtones.

The Tahitian pearl is one of the most beautiful and valuable in the world.  They were first discovered in the late 1700s. The name Tahitian comes from Tahiti, an island in French Polynesia where they were first found. Tahitians believe the beads have special powers and can bring good luck. The Tahitian pearl is thought to have been first discovered by French sailors who brought it back to France around 1772. Since then, Tahitian pearls have become a sought-after commodity for collectors and investors alike due to their rarity and beauty.

South Sea Pearls

South Sea pearls grow in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines and are among the largest naturally occurring pearls. They’re also some of the rarest – only a handful of farms are allowed to grow them. 

The South Sea pearls are very rare because they are grown in remote areas that are difficult to access, and they require a longer growth period. The South Sea pearls’ rarity makes them an investment gemstone because they can hold their value over time.

Akoya Pearls

Akoya pearls are the most commonly known variety of saltwater cultured pearls. They are rare, naturally occurring gemstones with a beautiful luster; the Akoya Pearls are considered to be among the most beautiful of all pearls. The pearls are highly prized for their clarity, luster, and rarity, and they come in a wide range of colors. They grow wild in the warm waters off Japan's coast.