Within the pristine waters off the coasts of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia (headquartered in the municipality of Broome), lives the largest pearl oyster species in the world: Pinctada maxima, or the South Sea pearl oyster. The name says it all. Growing over 12 inches to the size of a dinner plate, the South Sea pearl oyster is indeed a rather maximum bivalve (consider the lustrously dainty akoya oyster, which grows just 3 to 5 inches). The South Sea oyster’s hefty size enables pearls of great diameter to emerge from the azure depths – pearls with satiny luster, a deliciously smooth roundness, and overtones of white and silver. There’s even a delightful gold-lipped variety that spins pearls of naturally golden-hued body color.
A typical South Sea pearl is between 10mm and 13mm, with a handful of specimens reaching past 18mm and 20mm. These are some of the rarest and most extraordinary pearls to be found in jewelry. Their size makes them ideal for pendants (like the stunning Heiress drop pearl pendant) and strands of true distinction. Or perhaps you’re in the mood for show-stopping South Sea pearl earrings that are high impact and red carpet-ready. Whichever your jewelry of choice, South Sea pearls are an unforgettable addition to the wardrobe.
More than pearls
For over a hundred years, the South Sea pearl oyster has also been cultivated for the inner lining of its shell, composed of lustrous nacre or mother-of-pearl, which may be culled to fashion buttons, inlays, and handles. Who would dare spoon caviar with anything else? We at Spey, of course, are partial to mother-of-pearl collar stays for gentlemen of dapper disposition. The South Sea pearl oyster gives us many objects of luxurious enjoyment.
If you’re considering adding the magnificent luster of South Sea pearls and pearl jewelry to your wardrobe, get in touch with Spey. We’d love to show you the astounding variety that this one oyster sustainably provides.