The most feminine of gems and the only organically produced gemstone other than some precious corals. Often glistening with iridescent colors and silky luster, cultured pearls are produced in saltwater oysters in various oceans and in freshwater lakes and rivers by various species of mussels. Highly lustrous white pearls come from the Akoya or Pinctata fucata oysters in the Sea of Japan, white, silver and golden South Sea pearls from Pinctata maxima oysters around Australia and Indonesia as well as black and dark gray pearls from Pinctata margaritafera oysters of French Polynesia.

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