There are four basic varieties of cultured pearls commonly available today: akoya pearls, freshwater pearls, Tahitian pearls and South Sea pearls. Each offers you something different and each can be magnificently beautiful.
Akoya pearls are known for their color, shape and most of all their luster. Luster is the quantity and quality of light that reflects from the surface of the pearl. This is the most important factor in choosing an akoya pearl necklace. It’s what makes the pearls shine. It’s also a proof-positive indicator of whether the pearls spent enough time in their mother oyster. Do you remember the part about a seller’s reputation?
Akoya pearl oysters are seeded with a perfect round bead and put back into the water for (hopefully) a period of 1.5-2 years. But many (too many) farmers harvest after only a few months. The pearls might look similar in the beginning, but they won’t last more than a couple of years.