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How to choose freshwater pearls?

December 19,2023

 freshwater pearls are more nucleated and have a thicker pearl layer, which is better for the skin!

From a value perspective, the larger the size, the rounder the shape, the brighter the skin color, the cleaner the color, and the higher the value!

From a wearing perspective, choosing a simple design with fewer accessories can reduce the wear and tear of Pearls! It is also beneficial for skin care!

The international standards for evaluating good pearls include roundness, size, pearl luster, defects, and the matching degree of a string of beads (Japanese Akoya pearls also check the thickness of the bead layer).


Freshwater pearls, as a classification of pearls, cannot be purchased without the above five principles. Apart from the size of pearls being a personal choice, the other four dimensions represent the quality of pearls. When purchasing, we must keep our eyes open. As is well known, freshwater pearls are divided into two types: nucleated pearls and nucleated pearls. Nuclearless pearls As the name suggests, it is a pearl without a nucleus, and the entire pearl is made of pearl quality. Due to the fact that there is no reference plane for the secretion of pearl quality to wrap around it, the shape of a nucleated pearl is free and easy to form, making it difficult to find a round pearl, let alone a whole string of round nucleated pearls with matching large and small luster. Therefore, when purchasing nucleated pearls, it is important to carefully check the roundness of the pearl to avoid thinking it is true A circle is not actually a perfect circle.


Currently, nucleated pearls are divided into two types: Tamsui AK and Edison.

These types of pearls have a nucleus, so the probability of round pearls is much higher than that of non nucleated pearls. Tamsui AK has a luster comparable to Japanese Akoya, but the disadvantage is that it is generally difficult to have large pearls. Although Edison is large and round, it is easy to have flower skin (growth marks), and the luster is easily dull. Of course, the above is just talk on paper. When making a purchase, it is best to go to an offline store (if possible, you can go to a large pearl distribution center in Zhuji, Zhejiang), listen, see, and compare. If you don't have time to compare offline, you can only purchase beads online or in a live broadcast room. It is recommended to prioritize choosing beads with rating certificates, because the lighting in the live broadcast room/photo is different from our daily lighting, which can lead to differences in the appearance of beads. However, professional agencies have objective standards for ratings and will not be influenced by lighting. The product displayed by the anchor may not be the one sold to you, but a professional organization rates it as one item, one certificate. When purchasing, you can take a screenshot and request the code to match. The anchor may only showcase the good side of the pearl, such as skipping non round or defective beads, but professional rating agencies will evaluate each bead and ultimately give a conclusion, without being misled by the anchor. At present, Gilder is the most widely issued rating certificate for freshwater pearls, and there are also NGTC national inspection ratings. In addition, GIA and Zhenxue can also issue freshwater pearl rating certificates (although it is very rare in the market).

When choosing pearl jewelry, you will definitely see a series of adjectives such as Aurora Freshwater, Freshwater with a nucleus, Strong Light, Heavenly Maiden, Cherry Blossom Powder, etc. So what is Aurora? What is the difference between having a nucleus and not having a nucleus?


I suddenly came up with this topic while I was idle.

Let me tell you something, because there is someone in our family who works in the pearl jewelry industry, and I know some of them.

Firstly, pearls are divided into freshwater pearls and seawater pearls, which are two major categories.

Traditionally, freshwater pearls have no nuclei (some now have nuclei), while seawater pearls have nuclei. So what is "nucleus"?

If it is a natural non artificially cultivated seawater pearl, the "core" may be some "foreign objects" such as sand particles and small insects, and then the mother shell will be stimulated to secrete pearl matter to "eliminate" it, and continue to secrete to form seawater nucleated pearls. There are very few natural seawater pearls nowadays.


For artificial aquaculture of seawater pearls, this "nucleus" is a spherical pearl nucleus made of seashells placed into the connective tissue of the outer membrane of pearl shells, with the same secretion layer behind it to form pearls.

Actually, I think the process of pearl formation is somewhat similar to the process of human pregnancy. At present, there is also a faction of experts who say that pregnancy is a process of rejection in the human body, and early pregnancy, such as vomiting, fatigue, allergies, rash, etc., are all manifestations of the human body's rejection of this "new life form". In fact, pearls are the same. Pearl oysters reject "foreign objects" and the process of enveloping and eliminating them through the secreted pearl layer precisely achieves this beautiful birth.

Okay, then the second question arises, why do freshwater pearls also need to be made into nucleated pearls?


The reason is definitely nothing more than this - there will be a market when there is demand.

Firstly, nucleated pearls generally have better luster than non nucleated pearls! Don't have any misunderstandings about this, what I'm saying is generally speaking! A pearl shell with nuclear beads can only produce 1-2 beads, while a pearl shell without nuclear beads can produce 30-40 beads. Therefore, if we talk about "excellent beads/bead production", then the rate of excellence for nuclear beads is much higher, after all, the number of non nuclear beads is too high. One hundred or even ten thousand freshwater non nuclear pearls can only select one or two round and flawless pearls, which is not a "one in a thousand" probability.

Once again, having a nucleated bead can better control its formation, as it will be rounder than a non nucleated bead. You can roughly determine the roundness of the bead after its formation by controlling the shape of the implanted bead nucleus. On the other hand, non nucleated beads, in simple terms, grow wildly, and their final appearance cannot be predicted.

Secondly, because seawater pearls have nuclei, their relatively low production leads to high prices. Therefore, Tamsui pearls must also want to break the monopoly of seawater pearls on the high-end pearl market, especially in recent years when Japan's AKOYA has basically monopolized the seawater pearl market. Who wouldn't want to make more money! There are varieties of freshwater with nuclei.

Another reason is that pearls with nuclear beads tend to shine brighter, and everyone's understanding of this "brightness" is different. In recent years, the pearl breeding industry has also become increasingly popular, with pearls not only being round, white, bright, colorful, and translucent in powder.

Do you think that freshwater with nucleated beads is better than freshwater without nucleated beads when you see this?

This is not it!

If you are a consumer, you may prefer nucleated pearls because of their characteristics (such as liking mirrored light), but if you are an old pearl person or someone who truly likes pearls, I think it is highly likely that you will prefer freshwater nucleated pearls. Many pearl owners around me have said this, but it is not my own guess.

Many pearl owners call it Tamsui AK - the pearl that takes shortcuts, why?

Firstly, a nucleated bead has a thin layer, which is quite easy to understand. A nucleated bead does not have the bead core placed by the person in the middle, and is all layers of pearl layer after layer, so it is thick. For nucleated beads, the bead core is usually about 2mm thick. Think about it, the outer pearl layer will become thinner. Therefore, sometimes when I drill a full hole with nucleated beads, the outer pearl layer will crack, and if it is thin, it often cracks. So, the reason is the same, and the layer of cultured seawater beads at the same location is thinner than that of non nucleated beads.

But when wearing it normally, you don't need to consider this issue, it won't peel off the skin.

Secondly, the breeding cycle for nucleated beads is short. Generally, 4-5mm nucleated beads require nearly 3 years of cultivation, while 6-9mm nucleated beads require approximately 3-5 years of cultivation; Nowadays, many freshwater plants have nuclear pearls that can be harvested after about a year of cultivation. If you wear pearls every two years and lose them, it is also possible that the pearls are too "tender".

Thirdly, high-quality pearls without nuclei in freshwater are definitely more precious than those with nuclei. You need to harvest those round and flawless pearls without nuclei. If you don't deceive yourself, at least sacrifice more than 90% of those pearls with waistlines, white spots, scars, and patterns in order to obtain perfect and flawless pearls without nuclei. So the price difference of freshwater pearls is very large. Beads that are slightly lower than perfect pearls may only require half the price, which means that perfect freshwater pearls may be several times more expensive than perfect pearls!

In summary, if you see aurora freshwater, it generally means that freshwater has nucleated beads. However, round, flawless, and beautiful nucleated beads are more precious than similarly competitive nucleated beads.

Of course, the most important thing is that good nucleated beads have the same luster and skin color as nucleated beads! Not even inferior to sea droplets and AKOYA. Come and enjoy the good freshwater seedless beads.

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