Glossary

Freshwater pearl

These pearls are made in freshwater mussels – these days the vast majority are cultivated rather than natural, which are extremely rare. Traditionally they differ from saltwater pearls as they tend to be more irregular in shape, with a lower lustre. Where each saltwater oyster can make a single pearl at a time, freshwater mussels can make multiple pearls. See also pearl, cultured freshwater pearl.

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