The cultured pearl is created the same way as a Natural Pearl. In both cases, the oyster/mollusk secretes nacre which covers the irritant layer by layer. Over time, this nacre forms the pearl. The only way of determining whether the pearl was cultured is by using an X-ray machine. The culturing process discovered by Kokichi Mikimoto revolutionized the pearl industry.
Saltwater pearls are created by implanting a tiny bead (mother of pearl) in the gonad (the reproductive organ of the oyster). This bead and a piece of tissue are the ingredients needed to create saltwater cultured pearls. After many attempts at culturing pearls, with many different types of irritants, the process has become as close to perfect as it can be.
Most of the guess work is taken out of the job when culturing pearls. These days, cultured pearl farms can manipulate their harvest to make many types of cultured pearls, in many sizes, and sometimes in many colors. Mikimoto’s process for culturing pearls is now used in many places in the world to create different and uniquely beautiful round cultured pearls. Areas such as French Polynesia create the Tahitian Cultured Pearl, and places in Australia create the large and lustrous South Sea pearls. Freshwater Cultured Pearls are now becoming more popular as well. Having gone through tremendous increases in technology, some freshwater pearls can rival even the exquisite saltwater Akoya Pearls. From these lovely pearls come a delightful array of pearl necklaces, pearl bracelets, pearl earrings, pearl sets and other forms of pearl jewelry that delight women around the world.