Most Freshwater pearls come from China, and are the product of an elaborate process in which a single resilient mussel can be harvested many times, yielding several pearls at a time.
The Freshwater pearl looks remarkably similar to the Akoya pearl, but Freshwater pearls are available for almost 1/5 the price of Akoya pearls. The only difference is that Freshwater pearls are generally smaller, less symmetrical, and not as well matched when strung on a strand.
Coloured Freshwater Cultured Pearls
Freshwater cultured pearls can be created in a spectrum of colours. Many popular Colours - white, pink, orange, and other pastels - can be achieved through natural means, including the pearl mollusc's genetics, what they eat, and the amount and type of trace metals in the cultivating environment.
It is a widely-accepted practice to treat or irradiate Freshwater pearls in order to achieve a particular or unusual colour, and equally common to treat Freshwater pearls to create a more evenly-coloured strand. Pearl colours should always be chosen to complement the wearer's complexion and wardrobe preferences.
Extra special care should be taken into consideration when wearing pearls; they are delicate and should only be worn once lotions and perfumes applied to the skin. Avoid wearing pearls in water and must be kept away from chemicals. Over a long period of time pearls can age and change colour, to slow this process down ensure they are kept in pouches or a jewellery box when not being worn.
Pearls must be restrung regularly by your jeweller. Cosmetics and ordinary wear weaken and strech the threads on which they are strung. Regular restringing is advised for safety reasons, insurance and appearance.