Cultured pearls are grown inside oysters and mollusks in the same way as natural pearls. The only difference is that while natural pearls occur randomly in nature, cultured pearls are created when a pearl farmer deliberately injects an irritant into the oyster. Cultured pearls are often sold by size (diameter of the pearl) while natural pearls are sold by weight (carat of the pearl).
Nearly all pearls sold in the open market are cultured. This is because cultured pearls are much more numerous and easy to produce and harvest than natural pearls. Thus, cultured pearl jewelry is much more common. Cultured pearls do not have as many surface blemishes as natural pearls tend to have, but they can have more bumps and dents. Cultured pearls tend to have a regular, almost round shape.
Pearl cultivation began in China and was imported to Europe in the 17th century. As the technology improved and pearl cultivation became more profitable, it grew as a business in the late 18th and early 19th centuries until cultivated pearls became the dominant type of genuine pearls found on the market today.
Nowadays, Japan and China are major global suppliers of cultured pearls. In fact, Chinese pearls account for approximately 96% of pearls sold everywhere in the world. Even most pearls sold as Japanese were actually grown on Chinese pearl farms.
Shecy Pearl Jewelry's pearl-production plant is located in Hepu, the source of China's finest pearls for centuries. There is an ancient saying in China: "The West pearls are not as good as the East pearls. But the East pearls are not as good as the South pearls—Hepu pearls." Hepu's fine pearls are considered a national treasure to this day, and were once a valuable tribute to Chinese emperors.
China's first large cultured pearl farm was built in Hepu in 1958. Located in the Guangxi Province in southern China, beside the South Sea and between two rivers, Hepu is an ideal place for pearl cultivation. It has few storms, so oysters can grow in peace in Hepu's calm waters. The water temperature and salinity are perfectly suited to growing pearl-producing oysters. This is why Hepu has been considered China's foremost "pearl town" for centuries.
All of Shecy Pearl Jewelry's fine cultured saltwater pearls come straight from pearl farm in legendary Hepu - South China Sea pearl town. Shecy Pearls freshwater pearls are from Chinese freshwater pearl town - Shanxiahu, Zhejiang.