When most envisage a strand of pearls of a piece of pearl jewelry, they picture perfectly round, white gems. But pearls are the chameleon of all gemstones, offering options in every imaginable color under the rainbow. This wide range of color options lends to the high versatility of pearls, as they easily complement every style and wardrobe.
Still the most popular of all pearl colors is the white pearl. White pearls from the akoya pearl oyster were the first to be commercially produced early in the 20th century by the Mikimoto pearl company of Japan. Today, white pearls are found in every cultured pearl variety, even pearls from the atolls of French Polynesia, which are famed for their more common natural-dark colors.
Freshwater pearls offer a range of natural pastel colors rarely found in other types of pearls. Their colors range from a stark white, to a strong pink and deep lavender. The rarest of all freshwater pearl colors are often referred to as exotic, which include tones of green and gold.
Black pearls are relative newcomers to the pearl scene, but have quickly become a fashion-forward twist to the classic pearl look. Black pearls are available in most pearl types, but they only occur naturally in Tahitian pearls and in exotic natural pearls. Black akoya and freshwater pearls do not come by the colors naturally, but are treated with organic dyes.