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Freshen up

We love freshwater pearls, that’s why we put them in our range. They are both fashionable and colourful.

I remember when I first came into the jewellery trade the Pearl offer was mainly Cultured Pearls. They were beautiful, spherical and pretty expensive for the right graded ones.

Freshwater pearls opened up the boundaries to more people, the fashion changed, irregular shapes became the trend and most importantly, affordable.

There are many different colours available in freshwater pearls, we have strings of the same colour or mixed coloured Necklaces and bracelets. Endless possibilities.

So what are Freshwater Pearls?

Generally speaking, freshwater pearls are not as round as saltwater pearls. They do not have the same sharp luster and shine as cultured pearls, however, they appear in a wide variety of shapes and natural colours, and they tend to be less expensive than saltwater pearls, making them very popular and more affordable than their cultured cousins. Also, because freshwater pearls are solid nacre, they are quite durable, resisting chipping and wear.

What Makes Freshwater Pearls Different?

Freshwater Pearls are different from cultured pearls, in that the majority of them are not bead-nucleated. That is Freshwater molluscs are nucleated by creating a small incision in the fleshy mantle tissue of a 6 to 12 month old mussel, then inserting a 3mm square piece of mantle tissue from a donor mussel. When inserted, the donor, (graft) tissue is twisted slightly, rounding out the edges. What happens after this point is not certain but some believe that this tissue acts as a catalyst in producing a pearl sac thus making the ‘nucleation’ actual ‘activation’. Others believe the tissue molds with the host to create a pearl sac, while still others maintain the tissue is the actual nucleus.

The molluscs are then returned to their freshwater environment where they are tended for 2-6 years. The resulting pearls are of solid nacre, but without a bead nucleus to guide the growth process the pearls are rarely perfectly round.

We love our freshwater pearls and we hope you do too.

Fiona