How South Sea Pearls Grow so Large


South Sea pearlsare ones that are produced by a mollusk is known as Pinctada maxima. Currently they are cultured in areas throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, mostly:

  • Philippines
  • Australia
  • Myanmar
  • Indonesia


 Among the cultured pearls in the world and commercially harvested, these south sea pearls are the largest. The average size of these pearls is 13 mm, with many harvests producing various sizes from 9 to 20 mm. The South Seas are located between China’s southern coast and the northern coat of Australia.


 These are warm waters and are the native home of the Pinctada maximamollusk. These oysters grow up to have a diameter of 12 inches and are nucleated with a larger bead than is normally found in other saltwater oysters like the Akoya.

Varieties of oysters

 There are 2 varieties of Pinctada maxima:

  • Silver-lipped
  • Gold-lipped

These 2 are distinguished by the coloration of the interior’s outer edge. The shell type is known as Mother-of-Pearl, and is the reason for the coloration ofthese cultured pearls.


 The process for using the South Sea oyster is unlike the Akoya oyster as it will onlytake one nucleation each time. This oyster is only half-developed and 4.7 inches to 6.7 inches in size when nucleated. This occurs at 2 years old. Since this oyster will only handle nucleus one at a time it can be nucleated up to 3 to 4 times over many years.

Size factors

 There are 4 reasons that these South Sea pearls grow upto such sizes including:

  • Large size of the Pinctada maxima
  • Size of the implanted bead
  • Length of time the pearl is left to grow in the oyster
  • Oyster’s environment

 Other factors

 Because of the oyster’s size, it can be implanted with larger beads. The gonad of the Pinctada maxima is many times larger than that of the Akoya. Due to these large gonads, the South Sea oyster deposits nacre surrounding the nucleus at a much faster rate particularly due to water that is warm speeding up the metabolism of the oyster.

The exclusive South Sea pearls do come with an exceptional quality and is a pearl that’s one of a kind. Not only are they quite idiosyncratic in its shape, it also has a distinctive depth of nacre. It is way too thicker than the other kinds of pearls available in the market. The range of its color is quite subtle and it is classic in appeal. The South Sea cultured pearls is even accessible in a wide array of colors with rare hues of golden, white and silver especially when they get harvested from the Australian coast. They also are available in exotic shades such as cobalt blue, chocolate, and deep green when it gets harvested in Tahiti.


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