Natural cultured freshwater pearls
These pearls are created by a pearl farmer, who inserts a tiny piece, or "seed," of mother-of-pearl into a freshwater pearl oyster. The pearl oyster will coat the seed with progressive layers of nacre, creating a pearl.
Since these pearls are a natural material, both colour and size will vary. This inherent variability adds diversity and uniqueness to the beads.
Crystal base pearls
At the heart of these crystal pearl beads lies a solid crystal core, which is covered in layers of innovative pearlescent "nacre" to create a flawless, silky-smooth surface that resists cosmetics, chemicals and perfumes.
Glass bead pearls are created in the same manner, offering a more budget-friendly option.
Shell bead pearls
Shell bead pearls, are created using the oyster shells, the substance known as Mother of Pearl.
First, nacre is collected, then pulverized and combined with other materials to form pearls. The outer surface is then coated and polished to attain the lustre that we associate with pearls.
Taken this way, shell pearls are fake pearls, but they’re made using the same ingredients as a cultured pearl. Because of this, we like to think of shell pearl as synthetic pearl or lab-created pearl, rather than a fake pearl. Although the process is different, shell pearls, in essence, are quite similar to lab-created gemstones.
Acrylic pearls are more economic and are lightweight which makes them great for use in designs that require less weight.
Have you ever held a piece a mollusc shell or looked at a pearl and wondered at its lustrous, iridescent surface? You were looking at nacre.