A long time ago, I got a pearl necklace from my mother. The pearl looks like tiny rices and now it is as old as me…..well, it is at least 20 years old 😉

Since I have been taking quite a few groups to see the pearl harvesting and the pearl factory, my interests towards the freshwater pearl started to grow more and more.And the more I understand it, the more I felt that the change of pearls is almost like the change of China. From low-end products and copy foreign ideas to innovation and become a leader in the industry.

There are 4 types of pearls in the world. Akoya is known for its perfect roundness shape, Freshwater is the most affordable, South Sea is the most expensive and Tahitian has the only nature black color.


The rice pearl which my mother gave to me is the very first type of fresh water pearls produced by the Chinese pearl farmer. In just about 20 years, Chinese fresh water pearls has taken more than 97% of the pearl market in the world.


If you went to a pearl harvest, that’s what you will get…..tons of pears in huge buckets. You could take a shower in pearls!!!


However, only less than 10% of these pearls will be able to sell for a good price. The worst of these pearls are made into pearl powders for skin beauty treatment.


Then around 3 years ago, the big change arrived. Looking at these beautiful and big pearls, it is hard to believe that it is actually fresh water pearls.


I still remember the exciting feeling of personally holding these crazy sized pearls in my own hands right at the factory.


Chinese producer Grace Pearl is the most interesting player in this market, known for its “Edison” pearls. In this method, genetically selected mussels are implanted using tiny beads instead of mollusk tissue. “Edison” is a backhanded tribute to American inventor Thomas Edison.


Edison pearl jewelry is affordable to the average working woman. Price wise, it is only 20% compare to the salt water pearls. The not so perfect big round necklace I bought from the factory only cost around USD100. The perfect one above is just around USD300.


Well, it will be fun to see what will happen in a few years when the high-end Chinese fresh water pearls farms increased their production.