Type of cultured pearls

Whilst this research project has a focus on black cultured pearls, it is important to highlight that there are other types of cultured pearls produced, traded and marketed around the globe. Cultured pearls come in a wide array of colours, shapes and sizes. They are formed in different bivalve species. Marine cultured pearls are cultivated in oysters whereas freshwater cultured pearls are grown in mussels.

Andy Müller estimated in 2009 that marine cultured pearls are produced in the following shares: Akoya cultured pearls (US$ 65m- 18%), white and golden South Sea pearls (US$172M- 47%), black South Sea pearls (US$130M- 35%).

Pearl types

Marine & freswater cultured pearls

Click on the pearl type to learn more