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South Sea

SOUTH SEA PEARLS: EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY AND BEAUTY

South Sea pearls are known for their exceptional quality and beauty with their silvery white color. These pearls are notably larger than the “average” pearls, and are stunningly smooth and round. They are likely the rarest and most extraordinary pearls to be found in jewelry.

The South Sea pearls come from the oyster pinctada maxima, which is a silver-lipped type of the mollusk. The oyster is quite large, much larger than the oysters that produce Freshwater and Akoya pearls, which explains the larger size of South Sea pearls. Due to the rarity and sensitivity of the pinctada maxima, the farming of South Sea pearls is quite challenging, and thus the pearls are costly.

To produce the South Sea pearls, pearl farmers implant beads made of mother of pearl in the hopes that the conditions, and a bit of luck will allow for a perfectly round, lustrous, clean, and beautiful South Sea pearl.

When it comes to South Sea pearls, the larger they are, the more valuable they become. Thus South Sea Pearl cultivators hope for frequent harvests of very large pearls in perfectly round shapes. However, the formation of South Sea pearls, like other kinds of pearls, is quite unpredictable, and even the slightest environmental change can produce changes in shape, or blemishes, or even no pearl at all. This is the reason that a perfectly spherical South Sea pearls are considered to be the ideal of the gem, and a South Sea pearl necklace made with near perfectly spherical pearls an exquisite piece of pearl jewelry.

The three most common South Sea pearl shapes are round, semi-round, and button.


  • Round – these pearls are perfectly round, and when they’re measured with a caliper, the variation in the circumference is less than 2%

  • Semi-Round – a pearl that appears to be round to the eye, but when measured with a caliper, the variation in the circumference is 2% or more.

  • Button – this type of pearl has a variation in circumference of about 20%. Within this style, there are also “tall buttons” which are button pearls that appear round.

  • South Sea pearls are only grown in tropical and semi-tropical regions called the South Seas, usually in the areas around the coast of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They are cultured, saltwater pearls available in shades of white, silver and gold.

    Pure Pearls specializes in South Sea pearls. Please inquire within about our South Sea collection as we do not advertise all of our pieces on our website catalogue. We carry pieces ranging from $8,000-$50,000 and will customize a necklace to your preference of color, size, quality, and price range. All of our pricing is significantly more affordable than retail prices and we would love to have the opportunity to show you our collection. Call us at 1-800-762-0977 FREE for personalized service!

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