From small beginnings in the 1970's, Mainland China has become the world's largest producer of pearls using large freshwater mussels. These solid, durable pearls, in a large range of natural colors, structurally closely resemble the Natural Pearls fished until the 1930's. The increasing quality at the very top of the market must now make these pearls the rising stars of the pearl trade.
The pearls are created by large mussels but unlike the Japanese pearls they are solid pearl with no internal bead nucleus, and are therefore called Non-nucleated Cultured Pearls or Chinese Freshwater Pearls. Because there is no nucleus, these pearls are rarely perfectly round, however there are a tiny percentage of very round pearls, and it is from within this special sector that Cellini buyers select and ship their finest pearls.
There is a huge variation of shapes, sizes, and natural colours ranging from white, cream, apricot, lilac, soft pink to intense pink/burgundy. Sizes range from 3-12mm.These pearls in top quality now easily rival those from the best Japanese producers, but at a lower cost. The huge Chinese mussels are capable of producing between 10-20 pearls at a time, resulting in a lower cost structure. In the highest qualities these pearls represent the best value in the pearl trade.