AKOYA PEARLS- these are saltwater cultured pearls formed in the akoya oyster originated in japan.
BAROQUE PEARLS- these are not round or symmetrical and always irregular in shape they usually resemble tadpoles in their shape.
BIWA PEARLS- these pearls are cultured in lake Biwa
BLISTER PEARLS- these pearls are formed by the natural intrusion of a parasite through the outer shell of an oyster the mollusk secretes nacre over the irritant, cementing it to the shell itself. these can be irregular shaped.
CULTURED PEARLS- this is where a peice of mantle or other tissue is inserted into the oyster or muscle and eventual forms a pearl (not by chance as natrual pearls) this includes freshwater pearls.
HALF PEARLS- these are pearls that are quite often ground or sawn on one side to remove blemishes sometimes this term refers to blister pearls
KESHI PEARLS- these are small roundish natural pearls accidentally formed within the mother shell during the cultivation process -often peices of the mother outer shell.
MABE PEARLS- these are formed when a bead is cemented to the inside shell which is then covered by nacre by the mollusc -these are usually only used in mounting ie; to rings as they must be cut from the mother shell and the back may be exposed.
NATURAL PEARLS- these are formed without the intervention of man
SEED PEARLS- these are usually formed within the mother mollusc accidentally along with a larger cultured or natural pearl
SEMI-BaROQUE PEARLS- these pearls are usually pearl or egg shaped not round and not fully baroque
SOUTH SEA PEARLS- the south sea stretches from burma and the gulf of thailand through the sulu sea of the philippines, malaysia, the indonesian sea and north west australia it continues through to the cook islands, tahiti and through to the french polynesian gambier islands these can be natural or cultured.