Pearl Color Information
The World’s Most Colorful Gem
The wide range of colors, shapes and sizes available combine to make pearls one of the most versatile gems used in jewelry today. While the most common color is white, pearls naturally occur in nearly every color under the rainbow.
The most classic and widely preferred pearl color is white. The white pearl is considered a symbol of purity, and is often associated with wedding and graduation celebrations. Pearls that grow with a natural white color include akoya pearls, freshwater pearls, South Sea pearls, and even occasional Tahitian pearls, which are most often dark. While white is a naturally occurring color in freshwater and akoya pearls, these types are routinely bleached to create an even whiter bodycolor, and then subjected to a treatment known as pinking. The latter treatment adds the slight rosé tone found in nearly all akoya pearls. These are universal treatments.
Natural White Akoya
We are very proud to be the first company in North America to introduce a line of natural-color akoya pearls. These pearls have not been bleached, pinked, or color-enhanced in any way. We carry the natural-white line in AAA and laboratory-certified natural color and hanadama grade – the Japanese grade denoting the highest quality of akoya pearl.
The second most popular pearl color is black. Black pearls are relative newcomers to the pearl scene, and are most often associated with exotic Tahitian pearls produced in French Polynesia. The pearls produced by the Pinctada maxima, or the Tahitian pearl oyster, come in nearly every conceivable color, shade and overtone. These colors are completely natural, and except in the case of treated chocolate Tahitian pearls, the Tahitian pearls carried by Pearl Paradise are completely untreated.
Other types of black pearls include black akoya and black freshwater. The important distinction with these types of pearls is that black is not a naturally occurring color, and the dark colorations are achieved through the use of an organic dye. Black freshwater and black akoya pearls do not naturally. The color is always the product of treatment.
Golden pearls are gaining in popularity among pearl lovers and aficionados. The color is prized for its regal, warm tone, which adds an element of richness to a pearl.
The most popular golden pearls are those grown in the gold-lip variety of the Pinctada maxima, or South Sea pearl oyster. The South Sea pearl oyster is the largest pearl-producing oyster, which can result in very large pearls. Golden South Sea pearls are produced as small as 8 mm, but may grow as large as 20 mm - slightly smaller than a golf ball.
Akoya pearls are most often white, although other colors do naturally occur. These colors include blue, silver and gold. Pearl Paradise is the exclusive dealer of these rare, natural-color akoya pearls on the Internet today.
A current fashion craze is the recent development of a new pearl color known as chocolate. Chocolate pearls are the product of two types of color treatments, as this color rarely occurs naturally. The two treatments used to achieve this color are bleaching and dyeing. The first treatment removes color from a Tahitian pearl, lightening the pearl to the desired chocolate coloration. The second treatment is used on both Tahitian and freshwater pearls, and adds color to achieve the chocolate coloration. Each treatment is permanent.
Pink and Lavender Pearls
Pink and lavender is a naturally occurring color found predominately in freshwater pearls. These subtle, pastel colors are not the product of treatment, and the colors do not change or fade. We carry a full line of both pink pearls and lavender pearls in uniform colors, and mixed together with white pearls for a multicolor effect.
Akoya pearls may also appear to be pink. This is what is known as an overtone, as the base color of most akoya pearls is white. The overtone is known as rosé, and is most often a product of a pinking treatment. If you are looking for pink akoya pearls, you are likely searching for white akoya pearls with a rosé overtone.