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What is the roundest of the freshwater pearls?

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  • What is the roundest of the freshwater pearls?

    What is the nicest, roundest strand of freshwater pearls on the market? I am picky about my pearls and want them to be round, not slightly round- is there such a freshwater pearl now? Thank you!

  • #2
    Hi amti,

    As far as I know, the most nearly round freshwaters seem to be the loose-grade freshwater pearls now being sold by various vendors under their own names. Pearl Paradise calls them "Freshadama"; Pearls of Joy calls them "Gem Grade Freshwater Pearls", and so on.

    While most other freshwater pearls are drilled for strands, these pearls are bought undrilled, and then the vendors drill them to make strands, pendants, earrings, rings etc.

    These loose grade pearls are not fully round but they are very close. Close enough to look round. They don't have a bead inside but are nacre all the way through, and can be worn regularly. They have very good luster, too.

    Here is a page from Pearl Paradise that explains what the various grades of their freshwaters mean:

    There is no universal grading system for pearls, so whichever vendor you buy from, look on their website for an explanation of what their grades mean.

    When you find something you like, ask the vendor for photos of several strands, and choose the one you prefer. Tell them roundness is particularly important to you.

    If you must have 100% round, then you might be happier with akoyas, but they will cost more and not wear as well, due to the fact that there is a bead inside. However, akoyas have sharper luster than freshwaters.

    There are "metallic" white freshwaters which have very high luster, but even the AAA strands are a bit off-round, and there are not many strands in larger sizes.


    • #3
      What size do you want? There are 9mm and 10mm bead nucleated freshwater pearls around. The nacre quality isn't massive so far (more ripple than smooth) but give them a year or so and almost perfectly round white freshwaters will be more available.
      (It's nature so you will never get perfectly round)
      Author:Pearls A Practical Guide published by Crowood Jan 2021


      • #4
        I agree with the above comments. Akoyas are more likely to provide the uniformity and (near-perfect) roundness you prefer, however they will still not be exact and will be much more costly compared to freshwaters. I think the only way to get absolute perfect roundness, at a reasonable price is, dare I say, go with synthetics, like Swarowski pearls. But I would suggest, in addition to roundness, also considering the other value factors such as luster and surface quality is making your assessment of freshwaters.


        • #5
          Thank you. It sounds like I need to wait a few years or maybe my expectations were too high. I want to stay with real pearls. There is just something magical about the luster and colors of real pearls that I don't think synthetics can replicate.

          I recently purchased a strand of Freshadamas and could see upon opening the box they were not that round and the sizes were not well distributed. I thought they'd be more uniform and round, and would come with the gold P, which my strand did not. I got them on the Black Friday sale and they haven't been on my neck yet because I'm not quite sure they are an upgrade to what I currently own. I have a long strand of 6.5-7mm akoyas that I had made over 30 years ago and I love them. My husband bought me an 18" FW string a few years ago from China and they are not completely round either. I'll have to remeasure the size but they are about 8.5mm. Although I have not compared them side by side, the Freshadama pearls are a prettier pearl with a nicer luster. I haven't taken them out in daylight so I want to do a comparison with them before I decide what to do. I really wanted a reasonably priced string for daily wear that was about the same size and round. My mother has a 8.5-9mm string of Mikimotos and they are simply amazing, so maybe I'm setting my expectations too high. I just don't want to pay thousands since I've got two kids heading to college next fall.

          Pearlescence, that would be wonderful if a 9mm round-to-the-eye pearl was created within a year or two, and affordable. I can wait 1-2 years!


          • #6
            You could also ask PP if they have a more-nearly-round strand of Freshadamas that you could swap your strand for. As they are genuine pearls, there is going to be a bit of variability between strands.


            • #7
              I'm willing to wait a year too.