Freshwater or Saltwater Pearls?
All pearls are cultured either in freshwater – mostly lakes, or in saltwater – oceans, seas, atolls, and bays. Saltwater Pearls are the South Sea White and Golden Golden South Sea Pearls, Tahitians & other South Sea colored Pearls, and Akoya Pearls made famous by Mikimoto. The best saltwater Pearls are prized above the freshwater because of the tight layers of nacre that the oyster produces in the colder waters. The tighter aragonite nacre produces a higher more beautiful luster on the pearl’s surface. The layers of aragonite are much like painting many lacquered layers of paint on your favorite car. But in a pearl, the layers are translucent and when light comes through, it is bounced back out in a prismatic form. This creates the eerily beautiful orient in a pearl and when the layers are tighter, it is just more delicious.