Everyone is familiar with seawater pearls. In contrast, the awareness of freshwater pearls does not seem to be that high. The technology of cultured pearls has been developing, and many new varieties have emerged through new culture technology.
Edison pearls are a type of cultured freshwater pearls, the technology involved in cultivating Edison pearls is completely different compared to Tahitian Pearl and South Sea Pearl. These are almost perfectly round and come in sizes up to 9-20 mm, they have smooth skin, intense luster and come in many different colors, such as purple, pink, bronze, peach, gold, champagne, and white. It’s a new species of giant freshwater pearls with exotic colors & saltwater pearl's quality.
South Sea Pearl
South Sea Pearls are the most prized cultured pearls in the world. They are farmed in the largest pearl oyster Pinctada maxima in Australia, Burma, Indonesia, and Philippines. Gorgeous South Sea pearls, treasured for centuries, are the ultimate statement of luxury and glamour. These large, creamy-white and golden pearls are cultured in the South Pacific and are treasured for their opulence in breathtaking strands and pearl jewelry. On average, a South Sea pearl will require 18-24 months to develop. A South Sea pearl oyster can produce up to 3 or 4 pearls over the course of its life. That's why the South Sea Pearls are so valuable.
Tahitian Pearls are considered the most exotic variety with the widest range of dark natural colors. Also known as the "black pearls" or "black South Sea pearls", they are grown in the black-lipped oyster called Pinctada margaritifera cumingii, and are indigenous to French Polynesia, Fiji, the Sea of Cortez, and the Cook Islands. It takes an average of 16-24 months of cultivation.
The difference between South Sea Pearl vs Tahitian Pearl vs Edison Pearl
1. Origin of Edison Pearl vs South Sea Pearl vs Tahitian Pearl
Unlike South Sea Pearls & Tahitian Pearls, Edison Pearls are freshwater pearls that are mainly cultivated in the Lakes of China.
South Sea Pearl
South Sea pearl mainly has two colors——White and Gold. White cultivates white pearls, mainly in the waters of northwest Australia. Gold cultivates golden pearls, mainly in the Philippine Islands.
The origin of Tahitian pearl is a type of saltwater pearl that is from the coasts of Tahitian in French Polynesia. According to the analysis, around 95% of Tahitian Pearls are from French Polynesia, and 4% of Tahitian pearls are from Penrhyn Island and Majuhiki Island in the Cook Islands.
2. Oyster of Edison Pearl vs South Sea Pearl vs Tahitian Pearl
Edison Pearl: It is cultivated from freshwater mussels（Hyriopsis Cumingii）
South Sea Pearl: Pinctada maxima pearl oysters, specifically gold-lipped and silver-lipped oysters, are what generate and create South Sea pearls.
Tahitian Pearl: Pinctada margatifera are the only oysters that create Tahitian pearls.
3. Colors of Edison Pearl vs South Sea Pearl vs Tahitian Pearl
Edison Pearls have a variety of colors for you to choose from. The natural colors of Edison pearl are white, metallic cream, pink, gold, lavender, plum, and dark purple. Some pearls can exhibit a grayish color.
South Sea Pearl
South Sea Pearls are naturally delicate pastel in hue and color. They range from soft white to creamy champagne and pink, however, what we can find South Sea Pearls in the market are mainly in white and gold color, which considered as the best quality of South Sea Pearl.
The natural colors of Tahitian Pearl are black, which is very rare and dramatic. Most “black” Tahitian pearls are a kaleidoscope of iridescent hues that seem to visually adapt to any color they are worn with. Although they’re known for their distinct dark range of colors, even black Tahitian pearls are not actually black. They are silver, charcoal, or a multitude of colors, with the dominant color being green. An often sought-after color is “peacock green” - the greenish-black color of a peacock feather. Truly black pearls are among the most beautiful pearls in the world and are extremely rare. They typically have more of a drop shape than a round shape and vary in size from 8 to 18 mm.
4. Quality of Edison Pearl vs South Sea Pearl vs Tahitian Pearl
Edison pearls usually come in sizes larger than 9 mm with the most common in the 11-12 mm range, some of them can be 15-20 mm, but very rare. Though Edison pearl is a freshwater cultured pearl, it has been created for only around 10 years, the technology of Edison pearl is very well, the quality of the pearls can be almost as the same quality as Tahitian pearls and South Sea Pearls. The nacre thickness of Edison pearls is similar to that of South Sea pearls at above 2mm on an average-sized pearl. This is considered a thick layer of nacre, which is responsible for the beautiful pearl essence and appearance of the gemstones. And the affordable price makes them getting more and more popular both for designers and customers.
South Sea Pearl
The most striking characteristics of South Sea Pearls are their unusual color and larger size. South Sea Pearls are among the largest and the most highly valued pearls. After nucleation, South Sea pearls take 18-24 months to fully mature. Their rarity and exceptional size from 8 to 20 mm, pearls layer about 2-3 mm, make them highly prized. South Sea pearls are rare and desired not only for their size but also for their beautiful satin luster.
Tahitian cultured pearls aren't really black. They appear in shades of brown, gray, blue, green, and purple as well. They also have gorgeous overtones that give Tahitian cultured pearls an incredible beauty. The production time of Tahitian pearls is 16-24 months. The common size of Tahitian pearls is about 9 mm to 14 mm，the pearl layer is about 0.8-2 mm.
5. Price of Edison Pearl vs South Sea Pearl vs Tahitian Pearl
Since Edison pearls are grown in freshwater environments as ponds, lakes, and rivers, with the high technology, it's easier to control and improve the water quality, that's why the quality of Edison pearls is much better than other freshwater pearls and the sizes are bigger. For some Edison pearls, you can pay at more affordable prices for almost the same quality as the Tahitian pearls and South Sea pearls.
South Sea Pearl & Tahitian Pearl
No matter which type of pearl, the value of a pearl depends on its shape, color, size, and more. But in general, Tahitian pearl and South Sea pearl are growing in saltwater environments, the water quality is difficult to control, which makes the cultivation cost much higher. Thus Tahitian pearls and South Sea Pearl are often high value on the pearl market.
Data verity from GIA and Wikipedia