Pearls – The June Birthstone! Choosing Between Akoya & Freshwater Pearls!
The pearl is the birthstone for all those born in June and it stands for purity, chastity and modesty. It also stands for loyalty and faithfulness. Its milky white iridescence is what gives pearl its timeless magnificence. Whether you have a loved one with a birthday in July or you are celebrating your birthday this month, there are so many ways to gift a piece of jewelry with pearls. There’s no limit to what you can choose – cute pearl earrings, necklaces, or bracelets.
Classic Jewelry Collection
Going beyond its benefits as a birthstone, pearl is a part of the classic jewelry collection. They can brighten up special occasions better than almost anything else. Pearl jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, and bracelets, can add a touch of class to almost any outfit.
What Makes Pearl So Special?
It is interesting that pearl is not something that can be called a gemstone. It takes a mollusk at least 5 years to create a full sized pearl. It is very rare to find natural pearls created by sand grains, and they are quite expensive too. On the other hand, man-made alternatives are available which can be designed in a variety of shapes. These cultured pearls are affordable but they are ‘natural’ too.
Akoya vs. Freshwater Pearls
Although pearls are known for their glossy and creamy white shade, they are available in a variety of natural colors and hues. The Akoya pearls are widely cherished for their rich blue colors. On the other hand, freshwater pearls are available in a variety of colors and shapes.
When you think of the traditional white pearls, you are thinking of the Akoya pearls. They offer the highest gleam and shine among all cultured pearls. They can be as small as 5mm or as large as 11mm. The Akoya pearl will be either creamy or white and will have a hint of cream, rose or ivory. In fact, you can also find treated Akoya pearls with black body. Akoya oysters are found and cultivated in Japan in shallow and calm seas. Despite its white and cream dominance, the colors can also be silver pink and pink in some cases. These pearls are most often near-perfect round, which makes them the perfect pearls used in some of the finest pearl jewelry in the world. The Akoya pearl is considered as pure symbol of beauty and grace. Akoya cultured pearls are seen as the classic pearls in earrings and pearl strands. These are high quality pearls and they are often set with clasps and posts in gold. They have fewer blemishes, and deeper and elegant luster. Some of the most sought-after Akoya pearl jewelry pieces include necklaces, pendants, stud earrings, bracelets, strands, and fashionable earrings.
Mostly produced in China, freshwater pearls are sourced from freshwater mussels. They are available in more number of colors – primarily pastel shades. You can find these pearls in white, pink, black, plum, tangerine, peach, purple, and lavender. Their size can range from just 2mm to as large as 16mm. Freshwater pearls are the most common types of pearls used in jewelry and they are more affordable. They are sourced from mussels that grow in smaller rivers and lakes. A good thing about these pearls is that they will not wear away when worn regularly, especially due to the effects of perfume and makeup. Freshwater pearls are available in larger variety of shapes. You can find them in almost any shape, starting from small rounds to larger baroque crosses. This is especially because there’s much more control over the pearls shape from the very beginning. When looking for the perfect freshwater pearl, look for a perfect round shape and a near perfect metallic sheen that gives a good reflection. All this is a sign of higher quality, expensive pearl.
Overall, the Akoya pearls usually look similar to their freshwater counterparts. But you can readily notice the difference when you compare them alongside. Usually, the traditional Japanese pearls are smoother, shinier, rounder and larger than Freshwater pearls.