There are five main varieties of pearls available which are as follows:

  • Akoya
  • Cortez pearls
  • Freshwater
  • South Seas
  • Tahitian

The cultured pearls graded with highest quality are termed as mikimoto pearls and sold at a premium price.

Akoya pearl

  1. Origin: These pearls are usually cultured in China, Japan and Vietnam. They are known as beautiful pearls of the world.
  1. Sizes: Usually they are available in the range of 2 to 3 mm size but can also go up to even 9 to 10 mm, which is however too rare.
  1.  Colors: Traditionally they are white but they can also be found in Silver-blue or Golden color.
  1. Shapes: Traditionally these pearls are in perfect round shape.

Cortez pearls

  1. Origin: These pearls are cultured only in a farm at Guyamas in Mexico. This is the only place in the world where these pearls are cultured.
  1. Sizes: Usual sizes are between 8 to 9 mm but it can be as high as 11 to 12 mm too which is too rare.
  1. Colors: Cortez pearls can be of green, blue, mauve, pistachio, copper, aubergine and rose colors.
  1. Shapes: Symmetrical baroques and smooth drop shapes and rarely in round shape.

Freshwater pearls

  1. Origin: Mostly they are farmed in freshwater of China.
  1. Sizes: Usually they are in 2 to 3 mm size but can also go up to 11 to 12 mm.
  1. Colors: They are available in variety of colors e.g. pink, peach, while and lavender.
  1. Shapes: Round shapes are quite valuable one but symmetrical Baroque shapes are very common.

South sea pearls

  1. Origin: They are mainly found in Australia’s northern coast and Philippine island.
  1. Sizes: Its sizes range from 8 to 9 mm but can go as high as 20 mm. average sizes are from 9 to 10mm to 14 to 15 mm. Above 15mm is rare size.
  1. Colors: Available in white and golden color.
  1. Shapes: Majority are in smooth baroque shapes which are symmetrical and perfectly round will be too rare.

Tahitian pearls

  1. Origin: Available from French Polynesian islands.
  1. Sizes: Varies from 8 to 9 mm to 12 to 13 mm size. Above 15 mm is too rare.
  1. Colors: Mostly black but also green, peacock, charcoal grey colors.