South Sea Pearls Guide

South Sea Pearls Guide

We love South Sea pearls, the rarest of any pearl type, for their large size and glowing luster. These prestigious gems come in silvery white and honey gold hues, with a range of round and baroque shapes, to add the finishing touch to your jewelry collection.

The pearls are harvested after a period of 2-3 years and have thick, beautiful and lustrous nacre, averaging 2 – 4mm in depth around their bead nucleus. 

Why are they called South Sea Pearls?

The name “South Sea” comes from the fact that they are cultivated in the southern hemisphere, particularly around Australia. Since the larger portion of bead wearing culture resides in the northern hemisphere, to them this is the southern sea.

How to identify South Sea Pearls?

The main identifier for South Sea pearls is their size. They are larger than any other pearls because they are grown in the largest genus of oyster, the Pinctada Maxima. Their size usually ranges from 8-20mm, although they can grow much larger if they are given more time.

South Sea Pearls Colors, Shapes & Sizes

South Sea pearls come in a wide variety of shapes. Only 10-30% of each harvest is spherical or near-spherical, making strings of perfectly round South Sea pearls an incredibly rare find. The rest of the harvest would be baroque, or non-round pearls. These are also highly praised for their unique organic shapes, but are not as valuable as spherical ones.

What is the best color of South Sea Pearls?

While white pearls have always been the classic choice, golden South Sea pearls are a rarer, and even more luxurious option for those looking to stand out. They can range from soft champagne colors to intense gold.

How Can I tell if my South Sea Pearl is real?

The first test to try is a texture test. A real pearl, when rubbed against another pearl or against your tooth, will feel slightly rough. If it’s totally smooth, then it’s not a pearl. Real pearls will also have minor imperfections that differ from one to the other. Pearls that are perfectly spherical and look exactly the same are most likely not real.

How to care for and clean South Sea Pearls?

Pearls are delicate gems and their surface is susceptible to damage from strong chemicals, such as those in hairspray and other body products. You should always do your beauty routine first and then put on your pearl jewelry.

After wearing your pearls, it’s a good idea to whip them down gently with a soft, dry cloth. If you follow these rules, your pearls will stay magnificent for years to come.

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