Many people think that pearls come in only one color – a white, milky color. However, pearls come in a number of colors, including yellow, green, orange, blue, brown, pink, purple, silver, gold, cream, black, or even a combination of some of the basic colors displaying a veritable kaleidoscope of coloration.
The color of a pearl may be natural and reflect the color of their host oyster or it may be dyed (treated). This is especially true of cultured freshwater pearls which are often dyed yellow, green, blue, brown, pink, purple, or black.
As a rule of thumb, color enhancement is performed to make a pearl more attractive; however, in the eyes of connoisseurs, when comparing pearls of similar size, quality, and color, a naturally colored pearl will always be more highly valued than a dyed pearl.
The Power of Pink
Pink is a color that is highly coveted in gemstones. Argyle Pink Diamonds are among the most coveted of stones and pink freshwater pearls are also in great demand. The color is feminine and blends or contrasts perfectly with so many other colors of pearl, gemstone, or metal that it makes it a perfect color to mix and match.
The conch pearl, also known as the “pink pearl,” is very rare. When found, it grows between the mantle and the shell of the queen conch or pink conch, a large sea snail from the Caribbean Sea.
Nature and Nurture
The old argument of nature versus nurture is also often raised with natural versus cultured pearls. The fact is that pearls would be almost prohibitively expensive if the jewelry market were to rely solely on natural freshwater pearls. Cultured freshwater pearls are not of lesser quality and definitely not of lesser beauty. The chances of finding enough pink freshwater pearls of uniform size and quality to make a pearl necklace would be negligible.
Cultured freshwater pearls can be created to have a naturally occurring pink color if the mollusk is fed a particular diet, the genetics of the mollusk are compatible with a pink coloration, and the trace metals in the cultivating environment will result in a pink color. This is preferable to a treated pearl.
Given the fact that cultured freshwater pearls can produce up to 50 pearls per harvest versus one or two pearls per harvest for their saltwater counterparts results in them being cheaper than saltwater pearls. However, just one glimpse of a pink freshwater pearl is enough to convince you that they are hardly inferior when it comes to their beauty.