Akoya Cultured Pearls
The classical white saltwater cultured pearl originates from the Akoya pearl oyster (Pinctada fucata). Originally only cultivated in Japan, a similar oyster is now used for pearl culture in China (Pinctada chimnetzii).
The shapes are round or slightly baroque, sometimes with a so-called “Fish’s tail”.
The colours vary from white, white/rose, white/blue-green to cream-coloured. The pearls are often cleaned to have a uniform white colour. The most worldwide appreciated is the pure white pearl with a rose overtone and the rare natural silver tones.
The size of the pearl is limited by the size of the pearl oyster. The common sizes go from 2-9mm with pearls below 4 mm hardly being cultured anymore. Pearls above 9mm are rare though unique pieces of 10-11mm do occasionally occur.