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Pearl Knowledge

 
 

Pearls are primarily obtained through two methods: natural discovery and artificial cultivation. They are produced by soft-bodied mollusks, such as oysters or clams. When a grain of sand or a microorganism enters the mollusk's shell while it is breathing and opens its shell, the irritation causes the mollusk to secrete a shell-like substance to coat the intruding object. Over time, this substance gradually forms into a smooth, lustrous pearl.

AKraft.852 uses genuine natural freshwater pearls, not imitation pearls or synthetic materials, to ensure the highest quality experience and provide you with truly unique jewelry pieces.

Pearl
海浪

Natural pearls /
Cultured pearls

 
 

Pearls can be divided into two main types: natural pearls and cultured pearls.

Natural pearls take a long time to form and are created solely under natural conditions. It is estimated that only about 1 in 15,000 wild oysters will produce a natural pearl, making them extremely rare and expensive today.

Nowadays, the vast majority of pearls on the market are cultured pearls, produced through human intervention. Cultured pearls are made by inserting a small bead nucleus into a pearl oyster, then allowing the oyster to coat the nucleus with layers of nacre, just as a natural pearl forms. This makes cultured pearls more accessible and economical to produce, while still resulting in a lustrous, genuine pearl product. In summary, cultured pearls are not imitation pearls - they are real, authentic pearls, just grown with human assistance rather than solely through natural processes.

Freshwater pearls VS Saltwater pearls

 
 

FRESHWATER PEARLS

The most commonly seen freshwater pearls are those formed in a freshwater environment, such as rivers and lakes. Freshwater pearls are typically produced using a "tissue-nucleated" method, where a piece of mantle tissue is implanted in the mussel without a bead nucleus. This allows for more natural, free-form growth, resulting in a wider variety of shapes and colors, including round, semi-round, oval, and irregular forms, as well as white, pink, purple, and golden hues, with a more subtle luster.

A single freshwater pearl mussel can produce 10-60 pearls. However, perfectly round pearls are relatively rare, with only 1-2 highly valuable, gem-quality round pearls typically found in a batch of 100 freshwater pearls.

Freshwater pearls have a relatively short growth period of 1-2 years and a more stable growing environment, making them more commonly available and affordable compared to saltwater pearls. Their diversity in shape and color, as well as their accessibility, contribute to their widespread use in jewelry and other pearl-based products.

Pearl

SALTWATER PEARLS

 

Saltwater pearls, also known as "ocean pearls" or "South Sea pearls", are predominantly grown using a bead-nucleated cultivation method, similar to the process for freshwater pearls. However, due to the different environmental conditions and composition of seawater, saltwater pearls typically exhibit a higher luster and more rounded, uniform shapes.

In terms of production, on average, a single saltwater pearl oyster can only yield 1-2 pearls, compared to the 10-60 pearls that a freshwater mussel can produce. Additionally, saltwater pearls have a longer growth period of 3-5 years.

The scarcity of saltwater pearls, coupled with their exceptional quality, results in them being generally more expensive than their freshwater counterparts.

Baroque pearl

 
 
 

Baroque pearls refer to a category of pearls that are irregularly shaped, with distinctive bumpy textures and uneven luster, which occur unexpectedly during the cultivation process. These pearls may exhibit a wide range of colors, including white, pink, blue, yellow, green, and gray.


The term "baroque" originates from the 17th century art style that emphasized exuberant, dramatic, and highly decorative effects. In contrast to the traditional, round and symmetrical pearls, baroque pearls are more unique and individualistic in their appearance. This distinctive and one-of-a-kind quality of baroque pearls has led to their widespread use in jewelry design, allowing for the creation of pieces that possess a unique character and artistic flair.

 

Cultured Pearls vs. Natural Pearls

 
 

Imitation pearls are typically made using glass, plastic, or other synthetic materials to simulate the appearance of natural pearls. Common manufacturing methods include:

  • Compressing shell powder into small beads

  • Coating glass beads to resemble pearls

  • Dyeing the surfaces to create pearl-like colors

The most common types of imitation pearls are 'glass pearls', 'plastic pearls', and 'shell pearls'. Since they are artificially created, imitation pearls have a perfectly round, flawless shape and surface, and are much more affordable.
 

In contrast, natural pearls are formed within the natural environment, usually produced inside mollusk shells. Their shapes, colors, and luster can vary depending on the growth conditions and environment within the shell. Natural pearls are much rarer and more precious than imitation pearls.

Image by Tamara Shchypchynska
Image by Alexey Demidov

Distinguish real pearls from imitation pearls:

 
 

Common methods and guidelines for distinguishing real pearls from imitation pearls:

 

01

The cold touch of natural pearls

Natural pearls have a cool, refreshing sensation when in contact with the skin, while imitation pearls typically have the same temperature feel as the surrounding environment.

03

The Shape and Symmetry of Pearls

Natural pearls may have slight variations in shape and symmetry, while imitation pearls typically exhibit very uniform shape and symmetry.

05

The Weight of Pearls

Genuine natural pearls are typically heavier than imitation pearls of the same size. This is because real pearls are composed of multiple layers of mother-of-pearl, while imitation pearls, due to their synthetic or organic materials, are usually lighter.

07

Examining the Drill Hole to Assess Pearls

If you can examine a drilled pearl, take a close look at the drill hole. Genuine natural pearls typically have a clean, smooth drill hole, as they formed naturally around a central core. In contrast, the drill holes of imitation pearls may be poorly drilled or irregular.

02

The Luster and Light Reflection of Pearls

Natural pearls typically have a soft, gentle luster, whereas imitation pearls may appear overly smooth and have a more intense reflective shine.

04

The Surface Quality of Pearls

Natural pearls may have some texture, small pits, or irregularities on the surface, while imitation pearls typically have a smoother and more perfect surface.

06

Examining the surface of a pearl

Use a magnifying glass to carefully examine the surface of the pearl. Genuine natural pearls may have minor imperfections, such as tiny blemishes, irregularities, or growth lines - signs of their natural formation. In contrast, imitation pearls typically have a smoother, more perfect surface.

08

The Friction Method

If you rub two natural pearls together, you will feel a gritty, rough texture. With firm friction, a small amount of pearl powder will be shed. In contrast, when rubbing two imitation pearls together, the feel will be completely smooth and slippery. There will be no sense of any pearl powder being present. Real natural pearls are not damaged by this friction test. Once any loose powder is wiped away, the original luster of the pearl will be restored.

09

Price

Artificial imitation pearls are typically priced lower, while natural pearls tend to be more expensive.

Pearl Care/Wearing Instruction 

 

01.

Since chemicals and acidic substances can erode the surface of pearls, it is recommended to avoid contact between pearls with hair spray, perfume and cosmetics, as they can damage the luster of pearls. It is best to wear pearl jewelry after completing your makeup.

02.

Pearls occasionally need to breathe. It is recommended to store them separately in a velvet box and take them out from time to time to prevent pearls from turning yellow.

03.

Please avoid treating pearl with strong force and pressure to prevent damage to the jewelry.

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