South Sea Pearls are the rarest and largest of all pearls.
These rare, giant pearls are native to the waters of Australia, Myanmar, Indonesia and the islands of the South Pacific. They are exceptional in almost every way.
Their parent oyster, Pinctada Maxima, is the world's largest oyster. The South Sea Pearl oyster can grow up to a foot in diameter.
South Sea Pearl rarity is due to the fact that growing larger pearls requires a great deal of time. During the lengthy culturing process many things can go wrong: the oyster can die, the pearl can become misshaped and environmental changes may occur.
Unlike other pearl oysters, the Pinctada Maxima live in deep, offshore waters. The culturing of South Sea Pearls requires special and costly methods. Thus, South Sea Pearls tend to be among the most expensive of pearls.
South Sea Pearls are larger than almost all other pearls, ranging in size from 8-21 millimeters or larger. The pearls have a particularly thick nacre that gives them a unique, lustrous glow.
The distinctive colors of the South Sea Pearl range from ivory or yellow to a silver-pink. Australia's silver-lipped oyster produces creamy white pearls with a silvery overtone. The golden-lipped variety of the Philippines creates one of the rarest and most valued cultured pearls, the golden South Sea Pearl.