about our pearls


Nearly all freshwater pearls are sourced from lakes, rivers and ponds in China. Many freshwater pearls are white and resemble Japanese Akoyas, but freshwaters offer a wider range of color, shape and size than any other pearl type. In the past, freshwater pearls were considered inferior to the Akoya; but since the 1990s, the Chinese have improved pearl shape and luster and have reduced the gap between Akoya and freshwater pearl quality and value. 


Unlike cultured saltwater pearls which are bead nucleated, freshwater pearls are tissue nucleated resulting in a shape which is less round. Instead of using a bead, a small square of mantle tissue is cut from a donor mussel's inner lining and inserted into the lining of the harvesting mussel to develop a pearl. The result of tissue nucleation: the freshwater pearl is composed of nacre resulting in a more durable pearl. 


In order to achieve a particular or unusual color, it is acceptable to treat or irradiate freshwater pearls. The most common shape of freshwater pearls is button or oval. This is followed by Baroque and semi-Baroque.


pearl care

“Pearls are meant to be worn,” and with a little care you will enjoy your Paige Matthew jewelry for years to come.

To maintain your pearl’s luster, avoid contact with makeup, perfume and hairspray. Wipe pearls gently with a soft cloth before putting them away. Ultrasonic cleansers and jewelry polish should never be used. Remember: pearl jewelry should always be the last on, first off.

Pearls are the softest gemstone, so they may scratch easily. We recommend storing them in your breathable Paige Matthew jewelry pouch or in individual jewelry compartments.