Tag Archives: blue pearl

Blue Pearls…rare?

Blue pearls. Really rare. Right?

The answer to that is both yes..and no. Blue pearls are possible in every pearl type – akoya, South Sea, Tahitian and freshwater. But within each type they are ..yes..rare.


Until quite recently akoya pearls were white and round and that was that.  Pesky pale pastel colours were bleached and then usually a delicate pink blush was added. That is how akoya pearls had been for decades. Round and white with a hint of pink. Then around five years ago akoya growers and dealers started to notice that freshwater pearls were selling by the hank in natural colours, not dyed or treated. The first natural colour untreated akoya pearls appeared at Hong Kong. They were sort of under the counter or right at the end, sort of an apology, next to the seas of white and round and shiny. They were also very cheap compared to their white relatives.

I had avoided the white and shineys…simply other sellers could hold stocks of all the variations of white, size, grade etc and do it better than me. But these pastel colours, well, that was me and I bought several strands just to see what they were like and if my pearl loving customers would love them. They did. Within a couple of weeks they had all gone. And the same at the next show. By the time around two years ago the akoya wholesalers were well wise to demand and those untreated pastel shades strands had shot up in price

Amongst the other pastel shades were faint blues . really really faint blues. The pearl was feeling-a-bit-chilly faint blue

natural colour chinese akoya rounds

These are natural chinese akoya round pearls. there are some touches of blue/grey colour..patchy and faint

Then Vietnamese akoya pearls appeared. And boy some of them had the most beautiful and indisputably blue shades of colour

I looked for the non-round strands and the baroque single undrilleds

vietnamese akoya

Strand of roundish elliptical blue/grey Vietnamese akoya pearls

blue akoya pearl

Single blue Vietnamese baroque akoya pearl.







One of the things I noticed last March in Hong Kong was a few – a very few- freshwater blue pearls. Blue pearls have been foreshadowed by the blues in ripple pearls for a couple of years. Some ripples have displayed patches of strong blue colour but blue freshwater pearls. That is something quite quite new.

I saw only a few, and then not really strong blue, as in the blue of facebook, for example, but in terms of gentle but definite blue – here is an example

Deeper blue solid nacre freshwater blue drop shaped pearl

Deeper blue solid nacre freshwater blue drop shaped pearl

freshwater hollow blue pearl

Huge 12 by 15 hollow freshwater pale sky blue south sea like pearl

There are, of course, still dyed blue freshwater pearls around, but, in a huge evolution to the market in the last few years, and apart from greys and blacks, it is really  rare to see the sort of garish dyed colours so common before. (and if we do see them at wholesale they are probably very old and dusty stock)




Tahitian black pearls are, of course, never black. Mostly they are greens, but very very occasionally there is a blue one. Often the blue is a patch, almost just a glimpse in a peacock effect on a green pearl, or a shimmer of overtone from a certain angle, but just occasionally a really individual oyster manages a true blue pearl such as the one shown here.

blue tahitian pearl

That blue tahitian was the inspiration for this handmade chain necklace in white gold.


Blue Tahitian pearl

Blue Tahitian pearl






Blue South Sea Pearls

Blue pearls from the south seas are perhaps the pearls we all think of when we think ‘blue pearls’. They are nearly the rarest of the south sea colours (the greens which are actually blues with organic reside inside (!) are probably the very rarest) and hauntingly beautiful. They come in shades from the palest blue – almost just a blush, to a deep dusty blue, but Royal Air Force uniform blue is the usual shade.

Charles Rennie Macintosh pearl - because the markings on the top are so like his classic art nouveau rose design

This is what I call the Charles Rennie Macintosh pearl – because the markings on the top are so like his classic art nouveau rose design

Huge hollow blue south sea baroque pearl.

Huge hollow blue south sea baroque pearl.

blue south sea pearl

We had some fun with some mis-shaped Blue south sea pearls I brought back from Hong Kong last trip and made them into what we’ve called ‘pokemon’ pearls – this is a little dancing man!

round blue pearl pendant

A pendant or enhancer is a great way to get started with blue south sea pearls. (This is a more classic simple round pearl if you aren’t a poke-fan)








So, there we go. Blue pearls are possible in all pearl types. But as colours go, they are the exception rather than the rule.

The Blue Tahitian Pearl in its New Home

You may remember the blue tahitian pearl which I wangled during the last Hong Kong buying trip….

Blue Tahitian pearl

Blue Tahitian pearl

Well, We just heard from its new owner who has made it into a beautiful pendant on a handmade silver chain necklace. Here it is

blue tahitian pearl

Blue tahitian pearl pendant and silver handmade chain necklace

blue tahitian pearl

Front view

Maker retired jeweller Dennis (who made this for his daughter) told us: ‘First I made a handmade chain, a slimmed down version of an antique pocket watch chain, with a matching adjustment section. It is finished with a small freshwater pearl as a charm. On the other end is a hook fastener in similar style.

The long links were made by stretching large O-rings

The bell for the pendant is like the calix of a mini-aubergine and the whole is a bit like regalia, but it is going overseas, where they are not shy about a bit of power dressing.’

Thank you for letting us know what you made Dennis – we send these pearls out into the world and we do wonder how they fare.

Blue Tahitian Pearl. So Pretty

I’m still working through all the pearl stock I got in Hong Kong but one pearl stands out. I’m posting it here simply because a blue Tahitian pearl is so rare and so pretty.
I had to negotiate hard with the wholesaler to persuade him to break a large lot of pearls to sell just this one pearl but after nearly an hour of on and off work he caved and sold just the one pearl to me.

Blue Tahitian pearl

Blue Tahitian pearl

Wholesalers don’t like to take specimen pearls ouf of lots because the value of the lot as a whole drops if you cherry pick the really good ones.
This pearl is round to the eye but off round in fact (15.3mm by 14.3mm) and a delicious royal blue/Microsoft blue. With a metallic lustre and only minute flaws, it’s a beauty and I’ve only ever seen one other Tahitian so blue – and 100% natural colour.

Blue Tahitian pearl

Blue Tahitian pearl

blue tahitianAt the moment I’m just enjoying the pearl and not making any decisions on what to do with it, partly because whatever I do will need to be something special.

I’ll take suggestions and designs and the pearl is for sale on the website as is.