Cultured freshwater pearl is usually grown in freshwater mussels living in rivers, lakes and ponds, primarily in China, but also in Japan and the United States. They grow in many shapes and most pastel colors, including white to silver-white and many shades and saturations of pink, purple, orange and gold. The most common colors are white, pink-orange and purple. A freshwater cultured pearl typically ranges in size from 1 mm to 14 mm. The largest known round cultured pearl is nearly 22 mm in diameter. Baroque shapes can be elongated and over 35 mm in length. Improvements in cultivation techniques allow a single mussel to produce more than one pearl at a time. Freshwater cultured pearl takes from 1 to 6 years to grow. 100 East Fine Jewelry does not routinely design jewelry made with cultured freshwater pearls. Instead, we occasionally find pieces made by other designers which we offer as Gordon’s Curated Selection.
The single most important phrase to remember when caring for pearl jewelry and really all fine jewelry is: “Last on – first off”. This means you should put your jewelry on last, after you’ve applied all your make-up, perfumes and other sprays. At the end of the evening, your pearl and other jewelry should be first off, that is, removed before pulling off clothing, washing yourself, etc. To learn more about cultured pearls, or any of our gemstones, visit our education and resources page.