Another question from our friend Michael, “Can cultured pearls be naturally colored, or are they dyed to preference?”
This is a great question Michael! In The Pearl Girls shop, we sell gorgeous pink pearl necklaces. I love selling them because they are so soft in color and they illuminate all skin tones. They are not a shocking pink, they are so soft and natural looking. Even more natural looking than they appear against this white background!
Anyway, this pink is so much softer than the pink of dyed pearls. Now, this is a dramatization because these are imitation pearls, but check out the difference in these very unnatural pink colored pearls:
So, when you ask, “Can cultured pearls be naturally colored?” I want you to see that yes they can! And they can also be dyed, too! But, let’s talk about the natural colors of pearls. Have you seen my Tennessee River pearl ring? These purple pearls are not typically what you expect from freshwater pearls. Any many people do not even know that pearls come from the Tennessee River!
Pretty awesome! Most freshwater pearls are not naturally this color. In fact, in the current cultured pearl industry, the majority of freshwater pearls come from China and they are naturally pink, white, mauve, a peachy color or shades in between. So, they are all along that spectrum.
Remember how pearls get their color? If not, check out my post on How Pearls Get their Color.
So, in freshwater pearls, we are dealing with some pretty muted tones of pearls. There is certainly a greater variety of colors in saltwater pearls. Like these two tones of Tahitian pearls…
In the entire spectrum of pearls, you can find a huge variety of pearl colors. Here are some akoya pearls. The akoya oyster was initially cultured in Japan and is now cultured in the oceans off both Japan and China. These pearls come in white, creamy, yellow, silvery gray and almost bluish color.
I would venture to say you could find a pearl in almost any color of you alerting at spontaneously produced natural pearls. Although the very rare colors might cost you quite a lot of money!