How Natural Pearls Are Different From Cultured Pearls

When it comes to pearls, most of us believe that pearls are only produced by nature and we human have no control over it.

But wait, that’s not the truth.

Though the process of producing pearl is natural, still it is controlled by the pearl farmers, people who do pearl farming.

Before getting into the fact about what how cultured pearls are different from natural pearls, one should learn how these both types of pearls are produced?

What is Natural Pearl?

As the name suggests, those pearls which are produced without any human interference are called as natural pearls.

These pearls grow in both, freshwater or the saltwater.

In freshwater, mussels are responsible for producing pearls whereas, in saltwater, oysters are responsible for producing pearls.

In freshwater, mussels are responsible for producing pearls whereas, in saltwater, oysters are responsible for producing pearls.

Once these types of pearls are found, experts harvest them, clean them and then use them in jewelry.

The sad part is, these natural pearls are extremely rare and hence very much costly.

What is Cultured Pearl?

Many people relate cultured pearls with fake pearls and believe that cultured pearls are nothing but a piece of glass or plastic.

If you are the one who thinks so, then mate you are completely wrong.

Cultured pearls are grown under tightly controlled conditions in assistance of pearl farmer.

Pearl farmers plant core made up of mussel shell into an oyster or mussel, which later produces pearls.

In simple words, the process of growing a cultured pearl is exactly same, with one difference that everything happens under pearl farmer assistance and he/she takes care of everything.

How Cultured Pearls are different from Natural Pearls:

#1 Way of Origin

Now, the biggest different between these two types of pearls are, one gets formed naturally and other also gets formed naturally but under human assistance.

#2 Shape

Many believe that pearls are almost identical in shape, which is a myth.

The truth is, every pearl is different in shape, size, and roundness especially the natural pearls, which are way bigger than cultured pearls.

The cultured pearls are generally of similar shape and size (not identical).

#2 Price

Another major factor which differentiates natural pearl from cultured pearl is its price.

Natural pearls are very rare to find and hence their price is very high as compared to the cultured pearls, which are produced under human custody.

So, these were the difference between a cultured pearl and a natural pearl.

As per as later report, China is the largest producer of pearls by covering around 5 percent of total pearl production.

8 Lesser Known Facts About Pearls

When it comes to pearls, the very first thing strike in our mind is its eye-catching look. Pearls are naturally beautiful and a very rare ornament to have.

We all know that pearls are produced by a living creature called oysters inside the water.

But I guess, very few of us know that apart from Oysters, Clams and mussels can also produce pearls, but the existence is very rare.

Well, today we have brought some lesser known facts about pearls and its existence.

Let’s get started:

#1 Produced By Living Creature

As we discussed above, Pearls are the only gems created by living creature and that too inside waters. Oysters, the producer of pearls, can live in both freshwater and saltwater.

As per as reports, a perfect natural pearl is found in less than 1 in every 10,000 pearl oysters.

#2 All Oysters are Male

All pearl oysters are male at the time of birth but they transform themselves in females at the three or so.

#3 Major Types of Saltwater Pearls

Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea are the three major types of saltwater pearls.

These three types share around five percent of total global pearl production.

As per as experts, these three types of pearls look similar but their sources are difference i.e. they are produced by different species of oyster.

#4 Freshwater Pearls vs Saltwater pearls

Freshwater pearls cover around 90 percent of global pearl production and China is the biggest producer of freshwater pearls.

A single freshwater mussel can usually produce between 30 and 50 pearls at a time.

Despite the majority of pearls are produced in freshwater, the saltwater pearls have greater value.

#5 Diamond Cultivation is Greater than South Sea Pearls

If we see the cultivation practices, South Sea pearls are very rare. If we compare the production of diamond and south sea pearls then the diamond production is around 10 times greater than the south sea pearls.

#6 Pearls were used in 2300 B.C

As per as the latest records, the pearls were used as one of the major ornaments in Mesopotamia in around 200BC.

So, we can’t simply say that the use of pearls as jewelry is a new thing.

#7 Oldest Pearl Has age of 2000 years

In the archeological dig at the Kimberley region of Western Australia, researchers have found a pearl which is believed as around 2000 years old.

#8 Threat of Shark

In late 19th and in early 20th century, the mortality rate of pearl divers was high as 50 percent.

The two main reason behind this horrifying death rate was the attack of shark and the dreaded crippling effects on the body with every dive.

Today, almost all countries have a very strict protocol and regulations to ensure minimum deaths of divers.

Things to Avoid While Cleaning Pearls

As we all know that pearls are actually organic gems, which definitely need a proper care and cleaning to keep itself alive for a longer time.

If we talk about hardness, pearls are considered as not so hard substance as it falls between 2.5 – 4.5 on Mohs hardness scale and hence these gems catch scratches very easily.

That’s why it is advised to not to clean your pearls with any external chemical or substances.

Now, here we have brought few tips which you shouldn’t do while cleaning your pearl jewelry.

Things to avoid while cleaning pearls:

#1 Avoid Toothbrush or Other Hard Substance to Clean Pearls

Never use a toothbrush or other brushes to clean pearls. Well, we already know that pearls can catch scratches very easily and the hairs of toothbrushes are very hard as it’s for cleaning teeth, which is the hardest part of the body.

So, never use toothbrushes.

#2 Avoid Utensil’s Cleaner

Many pearl lovers think to clean the gems using utensil cleaners but trust me, it’s a rubbish idea. If you are doing so, you are shortening the lifespan of your beloved pearls.

Experts advise not to use any type of cleaner which contains chlorine bleach, vinegar or ammonia.

Some may think to use baking soda but it’s also not healthy for your pearls.

If your cleaning job is not getting done by plane water, then use soap (chemical free would be better).

#3 Say no to ultrasonic cleaner

Ultrasonic cleaning is nothing but cleaning stuff using ultrasound with an appropriate cleaning solvent (maybe water).

It basically shortens the life of Pearl, which definitely you wouldn’t want.

#4 Also say no to steam cleaning

As the name suggests, steam cleaning involves cleaning things using steam and in the case of pearls, it is not advised.

#5 Never go with jewelry cleaning chemical advertised on TV

In several cases, the agent which are advertised on TV for jewelry cleaning contains harsh chemicals that definitely isn’t good for pearls.

One thing you must understand that every gem is different, so its cleaning process.

#6 Never heat your pearls directly

Not only pearls, heating any gem directly, isn’t good for its health and reduces its lifespan and shine.

Here, heating doesn’t only mean putting gems in the microwave but also involves putting gems directly in sunlight for a longer period of time.


So these were the few tips, which you should not do while cleaning your pearls.

As per as expert advice, to clean pearls, one should only use soft cloth and water. If you want to use some chemical, then use only those which are labeled as “safe for pearls”.

Tips to Keep Your Pearls Alive and Shiny for Years

There is nothing which can replace your love for pearls and to make it awesome, we have brought today few tips in order to keep your beautiful jewelry alive and shiny for years.

As we all know that any ornament including pearls lose their charm with time and to get its charm back, we prefer mostly to go to experts.

But not from now.

Here we are discussing few tips, which needs a little effort but can save a huge money, in order to keep your pearls alive and shiny for years.

So, without wasting any more seconds, let’s get started:

#1 Wipe using soft cloth after every use

After returning from a party, take a soft cloth (maybe cotton cloth) and wipe your pearls gently.

This process does nothing but removes any buildup of oils or other stuff from your pearls.

Things to Note:

  • Do not wipe harshly or with a rough cloth.
  • You can also use a damp cloth to wipe your pearls.
  • Use water only if you feel its requirement. It would be good if you use little warm water.
  • If you see water droplets on your pearls, let it dry completely before keeping back into its box.

#2 Take it to Jeweler Once in a Year

Like a human body needs regular checkups, our jewelry also needs a regular visit to a jeweler, who ensures that everything is perfectly fine with our jewel.

Surely, a jeweler has a better knowledge about jewelry and hence can check the integrity of your pearls necklace or bracelets.

A jeweler can not only check your pearls but also clean it safely and thoroughly.

So, at least once in a year, you are advised to go to jewelers.

#3 Always wear pearls at the last

Not only pearls, but any jewelry should be worn after finishing with everything else.

Applying makeups, lipsticks, perfumes or anything else after wearing jewelry is not a healthy practice as the dust particle can sit on it and fade its charm.

#4 Always store flat

While most of the necklaces can be left hung, but practicing same for pearls isn’t advised.

Always store your pearl necklaces or bracelets on a flat surface, which prevent them from stretching.

#5 Give enough space to your pearls

Pearls are prone to scratches and hence it requires little more space than other jewels.

So, always give a little more space and also try to keep them separate, without mixing with other jewelry.

Experts advise keeping pearls in a fabric-lined compartment.

#6 Wear often

Many people think that not wearing jewelry gives more lifespan to them but that’s not actually true.

Pearls do best in a moist environment, so wear frequently as it maintains the moisture.

So, these were the few tips to keep your pearl alive and shiny for years.