Freshwater pearls are a sweet, smaller, and often more irregularly shaped type of pearl that can be grown in a number of different species of freshwater mussels.

For those who love the look of pearls, but do not enjoy the price tag, freshwater pearls are the least expensive, while remaining quite attractive. They are especially desirable for rope necklaces made of several strands which are twisted about each other or long opera-length strands.

Another advantage of freshwater pearls is their innate durability, which naturally resists chipping, degeneration, and wear.

More recently, the Chinese have brought freshwater pearl farming to all new levels, creating pearls of much higher quality, making them quite comparable – in fact, almost indistinguishable – from their saltwater cousins. This is another favorable breakthrough for those who wish for beauty without the price tag, as it provides jewellery shoppers with a much more affordable alternative to the expensive saltwater pearls, but with little-to-no drop in quality or appearance.