Information on the Large South Sea Pearl

What exactly is a ‘South Sea’ pearl? This is a pearl that is formed by the Pinctada maxima mollusk and are found in areas around the Pacific and Indian Oceans, mainly:

  • Australia
  • Philippines
  • Myanmar
  • Indonesia

Largest pearls

South Sea pearls are the largest harvested cultured pearls anywhere in the world. The average size of a South Sea pearl is reported to be 13mm, with most farming producing pearls at a range of sizes between 9 mm to 20 mm.

South Seas

The South Seas lie in between the southern coast of China and the northern coast of Australia. These waters are the habitat for these larger oysters. This type oyster grows up to 12 inches in diameter, and is able to nucleate with a much larger bead than any other saltwater oysters.

Large sizes

If you are looking for jewelry made with South Sea pearls you can find information on them at They have many distinct characteristics that make these gems unique.The South Sea pearls grow to very large sizes and that is mainly due to 4 reasons. These are:

  • Larger size of Pinctada maxima
  • Ability to accept a large bead
  • Length of time left to grow
  • Oyster’s environment

Because of the size of the Pinctada maxima, it is able to handle a large bead. The Pinctada maxima’s gonad is many times larger than those of the Akoya. Due to this, the oyster develops nacre that surrounds the nucleus at a rate that is quicker, especially in waters that are warmer speeding up the metabolism of the oysters.


Not only that, but the South Seas are clean water that is full of plankton which is the favorite food source of the Pinctada maxima. The period of growing for these pearls is also significantly longer than the Akoya. Pearls that are Akoya are harvested every 10-16 months, while the South Sea pearls are not harvested until a minimum of 24 months or 2 years which allows for its larger size.

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