Saltwater pearls are grown in ocean coastal waters of Japan, China, Tahiti, and the South Sea areas. They are considered high class pearls for their exceptional beauty and high luster.
Saltwater pearls include classic Akoya pearls, large exotic black Tahitian pearls and luxurious golden or white South Sea pearls.
Akoya oysters (Pinctada Fukata) produce Akoya pearls.
Large Silver-lipped oysters ( Pinctada Maxima) produce white South Sea pearls.
Large Black Lipped oysters (Pinctada Maxima) produce black Tahitian pearls.
Large Gold-Lipped oysters (Pinctada Maxima) produce golden South Sea pearls.
Because ocean waters have a higher mineral content, their pearls tend to be more lustrous than those found in freshwater. They also tend to have a much lower production rate and therefore command a higher market price.
The most desirable shape for saltwater pearls is round. The most popular colors for saltwater pearls are white, cream, golden and black.
Saltwater pearls hold a 75 percent market share.