Pearls are one of the most beautiful and flattering gemstone materials available and they have such universal and enduring appeal. They are organic; created naturally by a living creature over a period of many years and because of this, every single pearl is unique in terms of its shape, colour, lustre and size. There is an overwhelming number of pearls available on the market in every hue, shape, size imaginable but the main things to consider are whether they are saltwater or freshwater, and whether they are natural or cultivated. Saltwater pearls come from oysters and mussels in oceans, gulfs and bays and are usually more expensive than freshwater. Freshwater pearls come from rivers, lakes and ponds and tend to be variable in shape than saltwater. Natural pearls have suffered from over-fishing over the years and so have become rare and expensive. Therefore, most affordable material tends to be cultivated and freshwater.
I carry high quality cultivated freshwater pearls, and source them from a company that has its own pearl beds in China. I only stock natural coloured material and select pearls for the highest lustre and in the case of the round pearls, the most even size. Currently I carry strings of round pearls in pink, purple and white and half-drilled button pearls in a variety of sizes, coloured and white, which can be mounted on an earring post or set as a cabochon in a bezel. I do not stock potato pearls, which are grown very fast and so tend to have a poor lustre along with those characteristic rings around the pearls and pitting.