What Colors Do Pearls Come In: Best Pearls for Your Project

When you are in the market for natural gemstones to use in your jewelry-making projects, pearls are always an appealing option. Whether you are interested in natural or cultured pearls, there are all sorts of different options to choose from. Perfectly spherical white and off-white gems might be the first things which come to mind when you think about pearls, but they certainly aren’t the only option. These unique gemstones come in a wide range of shapes and colors, so it’s possible to find ones which are perfect for any project.



woman wearing pearl jewelry



If you are thinking about using pearls in your next project, keep reading to learn more about the various colors which are currently on the market.

 

Natural Vs. Cultured Pearls


Before we dive into the various colors of pearls, we want to take a moment to distinguish between natural and cultured pearls. Natural pearls form in mollusks without any human intervention. Cultured ones, however, form with the assistance of humans. Cultured pearls are available in a much wider range of colors than their natural counterparts.

 

Pearl Types


There are four different types of pearls, and each type is associated with different colors.

 

Akoya Pearls


Akoya pearls are the type cultured saltwater pearls most Americans are familiar with. White and cream-colored Akoyas are the type of cultured pearl most commonly used to create the classic single-strand pearl necklace. This type comes from pearl farms in China and Japan.

 

South Sea Pearls


If you are looking for silver, white or golden pearls, the South Sea variety may be what you need. These pearls come from the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia and are well known for their large-size and thick nacre. These large pearls have a long growth-period and are quite valuable because they require specific growing conditions.

black pearl in oyster

 

Tahitian Pearls


Tahitian pearls primarily come from the islands of Fresh Polynesia and are sometimes referred to as black pearls. Despite this moniker, though, they come in black, brown or gray and can feature a wide range of overtones, such as pink, blue, purple or green.

 

Cultured Freshwater Pearls


Cultured freshwater pearls are the most common variety of cultured pearls, and they are incredibly popular among jewelry designers and consumers alike. They are usually cultured in freshwater lakes, and most come from China. Cultured freshwater pearls come in a huge assortment of colors, so if you are looking for a color which is not listed above, this type of pearl is the way to go.

Natural cultured freshwater pearls can be white, brown, cream, yellow, orange, purple or pink with blue, green or pink overtones. They can also be dyed to give designers access to pearls in vibrant colors which do not form in nature.

 

Choosing the Right Pearls for Your Project


When you are shopping for pearls for your next project, your personal preference (or the preference of your customer or gift recipient) is, of course, the primary concern. You may also want to consider the shape and price. If you are searching for stones which are perfectly round (or close to it), Akoya pearls may be your best bet, though they tend to be one of the more costly options. If you are looking for budget-friendly pearls in unique shapes, cultured freshwater pearls are the way to go.

If you are new to jewelry making and would like to build up a solid collection of pearls, investing in cultured freshwater pearls is a good option. In doing so, you can stock up on a wide assortment of natural pearls in various colors, shapes and sizes without spending a fortune. South Sea, Tahitian and Akoya pearls may be a more solid investment, though, if you are in the market for gems with a more predictable and consistent color and shape.

colorful freshwater pearls

 

The Bottom Line


When it comes to different color pearls, the options are virtually endless. While not all colors form in nature, it is possible to purchase cultured pearls which have been dyed to match any color of the rainbow.

Whether you love the look of classic white or cream-colored round pearls or you want to create unique pieces using baroque pearls in eye-catching colors, there are options to suit any taste. Browse our complete collection of pearls at Beads of Cambay today to find ones which are perfect for your next project!