Introduction to the NEW Freshwater Pearls
The twenty-first century has brought on a new era of freshwater pearl farming, producing pearls quite different from the small traditional freshwater pearls we’ve come to recognize over the past century. Because these new freshwater pearls differ dramatically from their predecessors, they deserve to be discussed separately.
Though largely unknown in the Western world, this new type of freshwater pearl is beginning to dominate production at many of the largest pearl farms in China. Foregoing traditional methods of tissue-graft perliculture, many Chinese pearl farmers are growing freshwater pearls with a nucleus.
New freshwater pearls are produced in every natural color and an infinite number of shapes. But what is most notable is their size. Freshwater pearls produced with a tissue graft rarely grow larger than 10 millimeters. The new freshwater pearls grown with a nucleus are considered small at 12 millimeters. Some reach astounding sizes greater than 20 millimeters in diameter and 40 millimeters in length.