Pearls 101: Freshwater Cultured Pearls

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Freshwater cultured pearls are the most plentiful and therefore the most affordable of all cultured pearls. The pearls are cultivated from mussels, primarily harvested in China. Each freshwater mussel produces up to 40 pearls, while one saltwater mollusk produces only one or two.

Size & Look

Freshwater cultured pearls used in jewelry typically range in size from 6mm to 12mm. Because of their culturing process, freshwater cultured pearls are seldom perfectly round. These pearls come in a myriad of color options, and may be dyed to create their colorful appearance.