There are wide varieties of pearls in the market today with the advent of the cultured pearl technology. Pearls we see in the market today are of different shapes, sizes and colors. In addition to the famous fresh water and salt water cultured pearls of China, there are few other cultured gems like Lake Biwa and Akoya which are famous.
These are mainly cultured in the regions of China, Japan and US. The Chinese pearls are exported to all major countries of the world whereas the US produces pearls primarily for its domestic market. The use of pearls has tremendously grown in the recent times in USA. So, there are no significant exports of these gem stones from the US. Till a decade ago, Japan used to produce quality pearls than China. But Chinese also greatly technologically at a pace that now, Japan imports 'raw' pearls and later market them as Japanese pearls. Today, the Chinese pearl stones also come with almost 100% round in shape which proves the quality they attained over years.
Lake Biwa Pearls
These are fresh water gems and are from the lake Biwa in Japan. Biwa is a place in Japan where pearl farming is done at huge scale. But due to water and air pollution in that place, the production of Lake Biwa pearls has almost come to halt. Today, it is very difficult to find an original Lake Biwa gem in the market.
These are very popular cultured sea water pearls and are obtained from the Akoya oyster. These are also called the Japan pearls as they are cultured in Japan mostly. In recent times, China has also started producing Akoya Pearls and turned out to be a major producer of these gem stones under the 7mm diameter pearls. Japan produces these gems of larger sizes which are generally of the size above 7mm. Typically, these pearls are near round in shape and come in white and cream shades of color with silver or pink overtones.