There can be many, many pearls created in a freshwater harvest. But these freshwater pearls are rarely spherical. Because the mussels are not nucleated with a bead, only with mantle tissue, only approximately 2% of freshwater pearls are visually round or near-round.
Whereas with saltwater cultured pearls, which are nucleated with round beads, as much as 80% of the pearls produced result in visibly round or near-round. More recent technology and experience has enabled the freshwater pearl farmer to create much larger and visually round pearls. The rice shaped freshwater pearls that used to be abundant in the marketplace are being replaced by beautiful round freshwater pearls which can be as large as 16mm. This size of freshwater can be compared with the exquisite South Sea pearls, and often is.
Beautiful freshwater pearls can be found almost everywhere. Anyone looking for beautiful pearl jewelry full of luster, without the Akoya prices, freshwater pearls is the right choice for you. Many of the high quality strands of freshwater pearls can easily be mistaken for saltwater Akoya Pearls. Therefore, at the better price, one can find quite a bargain on gorgeous top quality freshwater pearls.