The South Sea Pearl

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Did you know that AUSTRALIA produces the world's finest White South Sea Pearls?

They are mainly produced in the tropical waters along the North West coast of Australia. Indonesia and the Philippines also produce exquisite natural gold South Sea pearls. South Sea pearls command the highest price of all pearls because they are generally much larger than other pearl types and have unique lustre quality.

The South Sea pearl is produced by the saltwater silver lipped oyster. This wild oyster can grow up to 30 centimetres or more in diameter with only one pearl growing in each oyster. This means they can produce the largest pearls in the world. South Sea pearls are cultivated for longer periods and as a result, have much thicker nacre coating than other pearls.

Australian South Sea pearls are famous for their exceptional lustre and amazing iridescent white to creamy colours. The colour of the pearl is depicted by the colour of the mother of pearl lining inside the shell of the oyster. Silver lipped oysters generally produce pearls with white, silver, aqua and blue overtones. The rarest and most expensive colour of South Sea pearl is white with a pink hue, but the silvery-white is also in high demand.

The gold lipped varieties develop cream, champagne, vanilla and gold pearls and are generally from Indonesia and the Philippines.

There are six basic shapes.... Perfectly round, near round (very slightly imperfect shape), drop (teardrop, oval, egg shaped, button), dome or disc shaped, baroque (irregular or free formed in shape), circle (parallel bands or rings around the pearl circumference)

South Sea pearls start at 8.0mm in diameter. The average size is between 9.0mm and 14.0mm. South Sea pearls over 16.0mm in diameter are considered to be very rare. In the rarest of cases South Sea pearls have been known to exceed 20.0mm!

[Featured Right: South Sea Pearl & Diamond Earrings IP087-EWS11 $3,599]




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