Freshwater pearls and their history

Pearls always occupied a special place in the world of jewelry making. Used thousand of years ago to create the very first necklaces and bracelets, they always drew interest and never went out of style. Why are they such classic and timeless pieces?

This article covers all your need to know about pearls with a focus on freshwater pearls, we mainly use them for our Piper & Pearl Jewelry designs. Ready to learn more? Let's dive into the world of pearls.


Natural, cultured or lab-created?

Let's start with one important distinction. Not all pearls are equal, natural pearls are naturally produced by pearl oysters without any human intervention. They are difficult to find and usually very expensive with a full natural pearl necklace going easily in the several thousands price range.


Today most pearls are cultured by pearl farmers in real oysters. This allows more regularity on the pearl production and most jewelry is made out of them. The ones cultured in non-saline water are called freshwater pearls. Contrary to their salt water counterpart usually round and relatively small, the freshwater ones can take different shapes and are usually appreciated for their diversity and singularity. Baroque pearls for example, are freshwater pearls.


Finally, the oyster shell, also called mother of pearl, can be reused to create pearls in a lab. This process is different from culturing a pearl directly and it's using the shell to shape new pearls out of it. These are pearls imitations and often called shell pearls, usually having a perfect roundness and not produced by an oyster so more affordable.


So which one should you choose?

Cultured pearls are a great choice for anyone looking for a wide pearl selection, different colors and shapes and at a reasonable price. They are "real pearls" and we decided to use them in most of our Piper & Pearl Jewelry collections for their unique look. Scroll down to discover our collections and see how they can add a special touch to earrings or an elegant necklace.

As Coco Chanel said so well: A woman should have ropes and ropes of pearls. We will let you meditate on that.