Following are few of the different varieties of saltwater pearl with their brief details.
- Akoya pearls
These saltwater pearls are grown within oyster called Pinctada fucata which is also known as Akoya oysters. These Akoya pearls are considered as the traditional type of cultured saltwater pearls.
These pearls are raised primarily in China and Japan; their sizes typically vary from 5mm to 11mm, although most are within 5mm to 7mm in length. Normally, they have body color of white to cream but can also occur in many other colors too.
If that were not enough, dyeing may provide Akoya pearls any color that you can imagine. Unfortunately, illness and pollution have greatly affected Japanese saltwater farms.
- South sea pearls
This kind of south sea pearls are grown within gold-lipped or silver-lipped Pinctada maxima oysters. This kind of farms can be found throughout Indian or Pacific oceans, around Indonesia, Australia, Philippines and the Myanmar.
They are larger than Akoyas, and having diameter of 8mm to 20mm with body colors from white to gold and low luster.
- Tahitian pearls
This kind of famous Tahitian black colored cultured pearls that are grown within black-lipped oysters called Pinctada margaritifera.
They are raised primarily within the French Polynesia waters, but they were almost as large like their cousins of South Sea ranging from 8mm to 13mm.
All these pearls have black or almost black color body with prominent color shed of purplish pink and green.
- Abalone pearls
Abalones will be producing both whole as well as blister pearls, which can be usually yellow, green or blue. You can find both the shell as well as the pearls that are very highly distinctive, along with dark coloring with bright iridescence.
As a popular food item, these natural abalones are now becoming rare, particularly on the coast of California. Farms now are raising them to meet cooking demands.
In nature, these creatures may grow to one foot or much more in length. However, the farmed variety is not allowed to grow more than 4”. In case, you have shell over that much length, you have natural specimen.