Freshwater Pearls are a type of pearl that come from fresh water mussels. Although the traditional source of pearls has been saltwater molluscs, freshwater mussels which live in ponds, lakes and rivers, can also produce pearls. China has harvested Freshwater pearls since the 13th century, and has now become the world's undisputed leader in Freshwater pearl production.
Generally speaking, Freshwater pearls are not as round as saltwater pearls, and they do not have the same sharp luster and shine as Akoya pearls and they tend to be less expensive making them very popular. Many people still associate Freshwater pearls with the small, irregular shaped pearls marketed 10 years ago, however, since the 1990s, a class of Freshwater pearl that are round and lustrous have emerged which rival Akoya pearls in both quality and value. Freshwater pearls cover the widest range of options for pearl buyers in size, shape and color.
Amongst the various types of pearls available, Freshwater pearls are valued for their durable beauty; their diverse natural colors, shapes and sizes; the depth of their warm glow; and to top it all, their affordability.