Freshwater pearls are, found growing in mussels living in lakes and streams all over the world, including the United States and Europe. These pearls tend to be less expensive than saltwater pearls of the same size and color due to the abundance and ease of harvesting them. The best known, best quality, as well as the most expensive freshwater pearls are the Biwa pearls cultivated in Lake Biwa in Japan. Due to pollution, the production of authentic Biwa pearls has dropped sharply and many of the so-called Biwa pearls you see actually come from other places. The largest producer of freshwater pearls today is China, and the continuous improvement in quality over the last ten years combined with the low cost of labor makes these pearls a true bargain, for the time being.
Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists; children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. - One Fire Mountain Way, Grants Pass, OR USA
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