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 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.
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.