Even if you love pearls but know very little about them, you have probably noticed that there are many different types, sizes and colors of pearls. In this blog, we are going to discuss one of the three main types of pearls: Akoya Pearls. Saltwater pearls come in three main varieties: Akoya Pearls, Tahitian Pearls and South Sea Pearls. Pearls are classified by the region they are harvested from. For example, Akoya Pearls come primarily from the warm coastal waters of Japan. For each type of pearl, a different type of oyster is responsible for its development. The Pinctada Fucata oyster is the oyster that produces Akoya Pearls. This oyster only survives in the waters near Japan. As a result, Akoya Pearls could never be harvested in the French Polynesia (where Tahitian Pearls are from) or near Australia, Indonesia or the Philippines (where South Sea Pearls are from). Therefore, when you see a specific type of pearl or hear its name, you know exactly what region in the world it is from.
Akoya Pearls are the most common type of pearl. Chances are if you have seen a beautiful strand of pearls, they are most likely Akoya Pearls. For decades, these little gems have been the main staple of women’s pearl jewelry.
One of the beautiful things about the world of pearls is the beautiful variety of colors that they come in. Akoya Pearls come in shades ranging from pure white, to ivory, to silver; soft pink and rarer shades include blue, pistachio and champagne. Akoya Pearls can also be found in dark green and black tones. These darker colors are not natural colors for Akoya Pearls and have been chemically enhanced. One of the unique aspects of pearl colors is the gorgeous overtones that they have. For example, an Akoya Pearl can be white but have a silver overtone. Or, a silver Akoya Pearl can have a green overtone – you can imagine how incredible the combination of these colors and overtones can be!
Here is a gorgeous example of the different colors and overtones that Akoya Pearls come in:
Of the three types of pearls (Akoya Pearls, South Sea Pearls and Tahitian Pearls), Akoya Pearls are the smallest in size. Akoya Pearls range in size from 2mm all the way to 10mm. The most common size of Akoya Pearl is 7mm.
Here is a great example of a 2mm, a 5mm, a 7mm and a 10mm Akoya Pearl:
In our next blog we are going to explore more in-depth the gorgeous shapes of Akoya Pearls. Check back soon!