After my last post on Lillian's yellow pearl, I was thinking some people might wonder, why are there yellow pearls? Yellow pearls certainly are not the most common pearls and they are the least sellable pearls. Interesting, right? They tend to be one of the most polarizing pearls. You either love them or you don't. I personally fall in the former category. I absolutely love yellow pearls but, as many of you know, I rarely meet a pearl I do not like!
So, yellow pearls... first, where do they come from? Like Lillian's yellow pearl from the island of Java, Indonesia, these pearls come from Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and the waters in between:
This is the region of the Pinctada Maxima, a large bivalve mollusk responsible for producing South Sea Pearls. This Pinctada Maxima can be Gold-Lipped, meaning its shell has a band of gold nacre around the edge or Silver-lipped, meaning it is banded with a silvery white nacre. Typically the gold-lipped variety is more common north of the equator where the silver lipped is more common below the equator. These mollusks are huge (in the wild they can grow up to 12" in diameter!) and they produce a large pearl.
The Gold-lipped variety produces Golden South Sea Pearls. These are yellow pearls!
As you might imagine, the Silver-Lipped variety produces the more silvery white South Sea pearl. Here I am cozying up to these golden yellow beauties in The Philippines:
Another time you might find yellow pearls is in Akoya pearls. These small Japanese pearls are typically white but occasionally their color can range from yellow to blue. And, although there are no naturally occurring yellow Chinese freshwater pearls, they are occasionally dyed to mimic a yellow color.
Want to learn more about South Sea Pearls? Look out for my next post..