JEWELRY EDUCATION > GLOSSARY > Freshwater Pearls
Freshwater mussels are not a traditional source for pearls, but they have proven capable of producing fantastic pearls of their own. Though they are cultured, freshwater pearls are usually not bead nucleated (a round object isn't used). These pearls are typically formed by creating a small incision in the mantle tissue of a young mussel and inserting mantle tissue from another mussel. Since the mantle tissue isn't circular, the resulting pearl is rarely perfectly round and is made of solid nacre.