Freshwater versus Saltwater Pearls
Everyone has questioned it at least once.What is the difference between the freshwater and saltwater pearls in my jewelry? Besides the obvious difference of where they are grown; either in freshwater streams or saltwater oceans, there is the difference in the pearls themselves, which actually, is very little. The main difference can be found in the production of man-made pearls.
In all pearls that are man-made, the pearls are produced by inserting a small particle into the oyster’s body itself. In a saltwater pearl, the small particle that is inserted into the oyster is usually a very small piece of mother-of-pearl shell. It is implanted into the oyster along with a small piece of mantle tissue, or connective tissue, from another oyster. The saltwater oyster will only produce one pearl, but not without both elements; the mantle and shell portion, being inserted.
For a freshwater pearl, there is no need to insert the small piece of mother-of-pearl shell. All that the freshwater pearl needs to be produced, is a small piece of mantle from another oyster. Then, the freshwater oyster starts to put layer after layer of nacre over it to produce a pearl. The great thing about freshwater oysters or mullusks, is that multiple pieces of mantle can be placed inside an oyster to form multiple pearls! This is primarily the reason why freshwater pearls are lower in price than saltwater pearls. Either way, they both look great worn as a bracelet, necklace, or earrings!
Hollie Souza, owner and jewelry designer for http://www.bebeclaire.com, a Jewelery and Accessories Boutique for Baby, Child, and Adult. Specializing in mother bracelets, baby block name bracelets, hair bows with crystal and pearls centers, sterling silver, Swarovski and Czech crystal jewelry, 14kt gold accent jewelry, and custom items.
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