Freshwater cultured pearls
Pandora uses freshwater cultured pearls in a range of jewellery designs, cultivated by gently inserting pieces of donor mollusc tissue into a freshwater mussel. The tissue grows to form a pearl sac in which mother of pearl (nacre) is deposited layer upon layer until a cultured pearl is formed. Like natural pearls, tissue nucleated freshwater cultured pearls consist of nacre all the way through, as they contain no nucleus.
Virtually all colours, often modified by additional colours called overtones, and with a pearly lustre. Some pearls also display the iridescent colour phenomenon known as 'orient'.
Freshwater cultured pearls have a hardness of only 2.5-4 on the Mohs scale. They also have variable levels of toughness influenced by ageing, dehydration and sometimes excessive bleaching during processing. This means that freshwater cultured pearls are prone to scratching and are relatively fragile. They are particularly susceptible to damage caused by acids, solvents and ultrasonic cleaning, and may also have a tendency to dehydrate over time under certain conditions. Some dyed pearls may fade or revert to their original colour when exposed to sunlight or strong light.
How to take care of your pearls?
Cosmetics should be applied before pearls are worn. Do not expose them to ultrasonic cleaning or high temperatures. Avoid exposing dyed freshwater cultured pearls to strong sunlight or display lighting for extended periods of time. Never soak freshwater cultured pearls in water or rub them harshly as this could damage the nacre. Instead, wipe them over with a very soft, clean cloth that has been dampened in lukewarm soapy water. Then pat dry.
Keep your Pandora perfect
Keep your Pandora collection as sparkly as you are! Discover how to clean your jewellery and give it the care it deserves.
Discover our other materials
Lacquered artificial pearl
Made to resemble the naturally-occurring beauty of the natural pearl, a lacquered artificial pearl is a laboratory-made glass-ceramic with an innovative pearl-like coating.
Mother of pearl
Mother of pearl or nacre is the name given to the pearly inner layer found inside some shells. Learn more about the iridescent material used in Pandora jewellery.
Understand the difference between synthetic, man-made and natural stones, their unique properties and how we use them in our hand-finished Pandora Jewellery.