Pearl Education

Steven Cash Diamonds By Design offers fashionable and affordable pearl jewelry designed by Honora™. Honora™ has specialized in bringing the very best in Freshwater Pearls since they arrived on the market over 20 years ago. Honora™ is the largest importer of fine Freshwater Pearls in the United States and uses these astounding cultured pearls to create colorful and affordable pearl jewelry.

Cultured Pearls

The Freshwater Pearls that Honora™ specializes in are one of the three main types of Cultured Pearls along with South Sea Pearls and Akoya Pearls. The term Cultured Pearls is often misunderstood or misused, but the meaning is actually rather simple, a Cultured Pearl is any pearl product where man starts the pearl growth process.

Akoya Pearls

Known as the traditional pearl, Akoya Pearls are grown in salt water in Japan and China. Each pearl is grown inside of a small mollusk, using a round mother-of-pearl bead as a nucleus to ensure a round pearl and are almost always white in color. They are small to medium pearls, ranging from 4MM to 10MM in size and each mollusk will only grow one or two pearls in its lifetime. While top Akoya Pearls are extremely expensive and have fine luster, we often find that the middle and lower quality of pearls can be dull or chalky due to an insufficient coating of nacre, which is usually less than 10% natural pearl growth.

South Sea and Tahitian Pearls

Using a similar mother-of-pearl bead nucleation, these larger Cultured Pearls are grown one pearl per mollusk in giant oysters in South Sea countries such as Australia, Indonesia and of course, Tahiti. These larger mollusks allow for some of the largest pearl sizes spanning 9MM-20MM with a much higher nacre thickness than Akoya at about 15-20%. This category of pearls are the hardest (and therefore most expensive) to grow in high quality as large pearls have a higher mortality rate and more surface area which can become blemished. The South Sea Pearls are found in various shades of white as well as gold colors and the Tahitian pearls offer a range of natural blacks and gray. Both categories offer a range of shapes from round, baroque and drop pearls.

Freshwater Pearls

This remarkable variety of pearls offers the widest ranges of natural colors, shapes and sizes, spanning 4MM to 18MM. With over 90%, they have the highest nacre content of any nucleated Cultured Pearl and can grow up to 40 pearls at a time in one mollusk using a newer process for cultivating pearls called tissue nucleation. The ability to grow multiple pearls per mollusk is a major factor in making Freshwater Pearls one of the best values in pearl jewelry.

Cultured Pearl Shapes, Color, and Size




The size of the pearl greatly depends on the type of pearl. Freshwater pearls range in size from about 3.0-7.0mm, Akoya pearls range from about 6.0-8.5mm, and South Sea and Tahitian pearls can reach sizes as large as 13mm.

Pearl Care Guide

When cared for properly, pearls can last a lifetime. The best way to care for pearls is to wear them often as the body's natural oils keep pearls lustrous. However, it's important to keep them away from household chemicals including perfume, makeup and hairspray. Chemicals found in these common products can dull the luster of your pearls. It is recommended that you put your pearls on last when getting ready and make them the first thing you take off when you come home. Before putting your pearls away, wipe them with a soft cloth and store them separate from other jewelry to avoid scratching.