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Difference between Akoya and Freshwater Pearls

Difference between Akoya and Freshwater Pearls

There are many types of pearls, but the two most common are Akoya and freshwater. Akoya pearls come from salt water oysters, while freshwater pearls come from fresh water mussels. Both have their own unique qualities, so which one is right for you? Here’s a breakdown of the difference between Akoya and freshwater pearls.

What is Akoya Pearl?

Akoya pearls are a type of saltwater pearl that is harvested from Akoya oysters. Akoya oysters are found in the waters off the coast of Japan, as well as in other parts of East Asia. Akoya pearls are usually white or cream-colored, but they can also be found in shades of pink, peach, and silver. Akoya pearls are typically round or near-round in shape, and they range in size from 2mm to 10mm. Akoya pearls are known for their high quality and luster, and they are often used in fine jewelry. Akoya pearls are typically more expensive than other types of saltwater pearls, such as Tahitian or South Sea pearls.

What is Freshwater Pearl?

Freshwater pearls are a type of pearl that is cultivated in freshwater mussels. Freshwater pearls are not as lustrous as saltwater pearls, but they come in a wide variety of colors, including pink, cream, white, and peach. Freshwater pearls are typically less expensive than saltwater pearls, making them a popular choice for people who want to wear pearl jewelry without spending a lot of money. Freshwater pearls are also relatively easy to care for and can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

Difference between Akoya and Freshwater Pearls

  • Akoya pearls are saltwater pearls that are cultivated in the Akoya oyster, which is found in the waters off Japan and China. Akoya pearls are typically round in shape and have a high lustre. Akoya pearls range in size from 2mm to 10mm. Freshwater pearls are cultivated in freshwater mussels, which are found in lakes, rivers and ponds all over the world.
  • Freshwater pearls come in a wide variety of shapes, including round, oval, button and baroque. They also come in a wide range of colours, including white, cream, peach, pink and lavender. Freshwater pearls range in size from 2mm to 15mm. Akoya pearls are more expensive than freshwater pearls because they are rarer and more difficult to cultivate.
  • Akoya oysters are also more delicate than freshwater mussels and have a shorter lifespan. As a result, Akoya pearls tend to be of higher quality than freshwater pearls. However, freshwater pearls are more versatile and can be used in a wider range of jewellery designs.


Akoya pearls are cultured in salt water and harvested in oysters that live in the ocean. Freshwater pearls, on the other hand, come from fresh water mussels and can be found all over the world. The difference between these two types of pearls is more than just their environment; it’s also a matter of quality. Akoya pearls are considered to be higher quality because they have a rounder shape, smoother surface, and brighter luster than freshwater pearls. Additionally, akoya pearl strands are typically longer and have more consistent sizes than freshwater pearl strands.

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