Freshwater pearls and Edison pearls generally come from China. China accounts for roughly 95% of all freshwater pearls in the world. If you have freshwater pearls, its most likely from China, even if you’re in another country when you buy them.
Next, we have Akoya pearls. Akoya pearls usually come from Japan, though they are sometimes grown in other countries such as Vietnam or China. However, Japan is the birth of the pearl industry and they still dominate the overall pearl market. For years quality cultured pearls were exclusive to Japan as they kept the pearl farming secrets from the rest of the world.
Black Pearls also known as Tahitians pearls come from…Not Tahiti. Despite the name Tahitian Pearls come from the small Atolls in French Polynesia and are then gathered and sent to Tahiti for government inspection for exporting. Black Pearls essentially come from some of the most remote places on earth, which are simply beautiful.
One place you might hear black pearls come from is Hawaii…and despite Hawaii being quite secluded and exotic…they don’t usually grow pearls there. Instead they are imported from Tahiti and sold to tourists. Not that it takes away the value of the pearls in any way.
South Sea Pearls
Now we have South Sea pearls, which do come from the South Sea. Your South Sea Gold pearls come from places such as Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines. Philippines pearls tend to be the best quality gold pearls as they around for around 70% of the high-quality gold pearl market. One of their key features is these pearls appear a deep gold than gold pearls from any other country. That’s personally where we get all of our Gold Pearls from.
South Sea White pearls on the other hand, come from Australia Specifically they usually come from the Northwest Coast. What is interesting about the Australian Pearls is that they often catch wild oysters to use for pearl production, whereas many of the other countries with pearl farms tend to have hatcheries which actually breed the oysters specifically for pearl production.
Now there are some other types of pearls which are rarer such as Cortez Pearls, which comes from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. There are also Conch Pearls which primarily come from the Caribbean, though they technically are pearls and Mabe pearls which often grown in Japan, where the technique was invented.