Freshwater Pearl

(fresh-waw-ter per-uhl)
Main Origins:
China, USA, Japan, Scotland, Ireland, and Germany

What is Freshwater Pearl?

gray baroque pearls on wood table

Often referred to as Gems of the Water, these beautiful specimens are not true minerals and can more accurately be called mineraloids due to their organic origin within the bodies of sea creatures. They are commonly formed within bivalves, such as unio mollusks. Today, the Freshwater Pearls that are most widely available are cultured by people.

Both Cultured and Natural Freshwater Pearls form through a similar process. It begins when an irritant naturally enters, or is introduced by humans, into a Pearl-producing mollusk. As a defense mechanism, the mollusk begins to secrete nacre, which builds up layer upon layer around the irritant and eventually creates a Pearl. 

That being said, the appreciation of naturally formed Freshwater Pearls began early in history, probably as soon as humans were collecting mollusks as a food source. American Freshwater Pearls have been collected for thousands of years, since Freshwater Pearls and the nacreous shells of mollusks were part of Native Americans arts and culture. They valued these creatures as a food source, as well. 

During the late 19th and 20th centuries, Natural Freshwater Pearls were featured in fine jewelry. They are rarely perfectly round, having a wide variety of shapes and colors that inspire unique jewelry pieces, celebrating these baroque, winged, dog-toothed, button-shaped, and teardrop-shaped organic gems. 

The color palette of Pearls is said to depend on the colors seen in the particular shell and sometimes affected by the water conditions. Colors can include pastel or darker shades of pearlescent white, cream, gray, yellow, lavender, pink, or orange, and they can even feature green or blue accents. Some cultivated Freshwater Pearls may be dyed to achieve other unnatural colorations.

Did you know Cultivated Freshwater Pearl mollusks often produce 24 to 32 Pearls and are actually capable of producing up to 50 Pearls each? They do, however, take from 2 to 7 years to form.

Freshwater Pearl Metaphysical Properties and Benefits

The metaphysical benefits of Freshwater Pearls can be explained by looking into the ruling elements of this mineraloid, including the ruling chakras, element planets, deities, and numerology. 

Freshwater Pearls have the potential to bring harmony to the entire chakric system. Depending on the specific colors present in the Pearl you are working with, it will have a more pronounced effect on the chakras that correspond with the color energy accordingly. For example, golden or yellowish Freshwater Pearls will have an energetic focus on balancing the Solar Plexus Chakra.

The ruling element of Freshwater Pearls is, of course, Water, as it would be impossible to have Pearls without its presence. The Water element contributes to the benefits of energetic cleansing, clarity, fertility, vitality, ease of transformation, and potential for incredible creation. It is associated with the yin or feminine principle, and the ruling celestial bodies of Freshwater Pearl—the Moon and Venus—further amplify this energy.

The ruling Moon aspect also brings attention to the power of the natural cycles, including the physical cycle of the Moon, the feminine Moon cycle, and the Water cycle and ecosystem. Moon energy brings our attention to emotions, subconscious themes, our inner child, our relationships, expression, and embodiment of divine femininity.

The planet Venus also resonates with femininity and the benefits of beautification on a physical and energetic level, as well as love, pleasure, creativity, and luxury. 

Pearl resonates with many deities, including Isis (the Egyptian Goddess of Magic, Healing, Love, and Fertility), Enki (the Sumerian God of Freshwater Systems), Aphrodite (the Greek Goddess of Beauty and Pleasure), and Krishna (the Hindu Deity of Compassion, Love and Patience).

The ruling numerical vibration of Freshwater Pearl is 7. In numerology, 7 is associated with self-awareness, inner wisdom, spiritual awakening, alchemy, and refinement. The composition of Pearl also includes Aragonite, which also contributes to the metaphysics of this mineral.

Freshwater Pearl Healing Properties and Benefits


  • Pearl is known for its cleansing effects on a physical level due to its medicinal use for thousands of years. In Chinese traditional medicine, Pearls have a plethora of other uses, including detoxing the skin and mental and physical diseases. In Ayurveda, they are known to purify the waters of the body.
  • You can work with Pearl for detoxification by taking Pearl powder internally or externally for its detox applications or connect with the frequency of whole Pearl through present breathwork with the intention of detoxifying.

Strong Bones and Teeth

  • The chemical composition of Freshwater Pearls contains calcium, which is essential for the health of your bones and teeth. In fact, you will find Pearl powder added to certain toothpastes and remineralization formulas. Physical Freshwater Pearl benefits will also mirror the metaphysical actions. By working with Pearl using crystal healing practices, you can also attune to this benefit energetically, which will be the blueprint for creating physical change. 
  • Hold or wear your Pearl and meditate, visualizing the pearly light moving into your skeletal system and coating your bones in layers of iridescent light. Feel and manifest great strength and vitality of your teeth and bones during this practice. You may also choose to include Pearl supplements or dental formulas into your regime should you feel called to do so.

Fertility and Creativity

  • With the ruling Water element, ruling planets of Venus and the Moon, and a strong divine feminine presence, it is no wonder that these organic gems help us to boost our fertility and facilitate the creative flow.
  • Make and drink a Pearl elixir or essence by placing a Pearl in water for no more than 7 minutes, then consume this water with the intention of increased creativity or improved fertility and pleasure.

Patience and Focus

  • The benefits of greater patience and focus that Pearl can bring can be paralleled to the slow and meticulous formation processes that results in natural and cultivated Freshwater Pearls. Pearls also have a clarifying effect that we can connect with to clear our minds of mental noise and impatience.
  • The best way to be attuned to this benefit of Freshwater Pearls is meditating every day for an extended period while holding or wearing your Pearl jewels.


  • The vibration of Pearl brings us into a state of presence, of complete focus and embodiment in the present moment. It helps us to see the beauty in the moment, to be patient, creative, and balanced so that we can experience each present moment most gracefully.
  • Wear Pearl jewelry and train yourself with the practice of reminders to be intentionally present each time you notice the Pearls you are wearing. Throughout the day, take a moment to notice your Pearls and list 7 things you are grateful for.

Freshwater Pearl Spiritual Properties and Benefits

A White Rose placed on a white silky textile


  • Pearls help us to connect to a state of spiritual awareness where we can deeply appreciate our unique beauty, the beauty of nature, our experiences, and other beings. It also enhances and encourages more beauty into our lives. 
  • Pearl-gazing is a fun and effective way to connect with the frequency of beauty. You can hold your Pearls and visualize bathing in iridescent, pearlescent light. 

Divine Femininity

  • Work with Pearls to fully embrace the powers and presence of the divine feminine within you and around you. Pearl brings us into a deep connection with the feminine cycles, our emotions, creativity, the Moon, and fertile waters.
  • Embody your authentic and unique goodness energy by adorning yourself with beautiful Freshwater Pearl jewelry. Each time you put on your gems, repeat an affirmation to empower your femininity, such as, “I honor my soft yet powerful feminine essence and expression.

Inner Wisdom

  • Including Pearl energy within your spiritual practices will take you into deeper layers within and beyond to access higher wisdom. Freshwater Pearl properties encourage dedication and quiet, patient contemplation that allows us to really connect with our personal expression, source energy, and the knowledge that is held within. 
  • Dedicating to a daily silent meditation practice while holding a Pearl is a simple and rewarding way to attune to the guidance of this gem and delve into your inner wisdom.

Purity and Protection

  • Pearls help you remain pure and constantly connect with this energy to cleanse stress and negative experiences. They also offer energetic protection that enables you to deal with any situation that comes your way with more ease, grace, and optimism. They can even guide you to find the value in difficulties so that you can maintain a pure, high vibrational state.
  • At any moment that you specifically require these benefits or as a daily ritual, hold your Pearls and imagine intense pearlescent light emanating from this gem, purifying your body and aura and forming layers of light around you for as far as you can imagine.

Wealth and Luxury

  • A feeling of richness and finesse undoubtedly emanates from this lustrous gem. The frequencies of wealth and luxury offered by Pearls have also been calibrated by collective intention and perception surrounding the value of these gems. 
  • Meditation visualizing Pearls or physically holding Pearls in preparation for an intention setting or manifesting practice focused on experiencing increased wealth and a luxurious life can be very supportive.

Side Effects of Freshwater Pearl

  • Vanity: Freshwater Pearl’s guidance to have us focus on the beautiful can lead to vanity. This is especially the case when this energy is already present within you, and holistic spiritual awareness is not combined with the use of Pearl. 
  • Self-Centered: When Freshwater Pearls are not paired with appropriate spiritual practices and intentions, this gemstone may exacerbate existing overly self-centered behavior. In other cases, this bit of self-centered focus may bring benefits.

Freshwater Pearl Meaning: What Does Freshwater Pearl Symbolize?

leaves changing colors

The meaning of Freshwater Pearl is gracefulness.

Natural Freshwater Pearls often form in unique shapes, which can encompass the message that beauty is not sameness or perfection. Pearl energy symbolizes fully expressing our uniqueness with grace. 

Throughout history, many stories attribute the creation of Pearls to deities, mythological creatures, or supernatural forces. They have been a symbol of the magic and beauty of the underwater world, and the rarity and unique forms of Freshwater Pearls represent beauty, artistic taste, and wealth.

Today, even though most of the Freshwater Pearls we access are cultivated, these organic gems still exude grace. They are a testament to human ingenuity, effort, and patience, combined with the natural process of Pearl-producing mollusks. Even though we use these animals for our benefit only, they abundantly create many perfect Pearls in collaboration with our human intervention. 

Due to a combination of factors, including coloration, a cleanly pearlescent appearance, an association with the cleansing Water element, and the energetic presence that Pearls exude, they have also widely come to symbolize purity and innocence. Pearls have been used for thousands of years for various cleansing and healing properties.

Types of Freshwater Pearl

  • Natural Freshwater Pearl: Freshwater Pearls formed without human intervention can display a range of organic colors and shapes and are great to connect with and to embrace your unique beauty. They are all about graceful creation and honoring the processes of nature. 
  • Cultivated Freshwater Pearl: Cultivated Freshwater Pearls are created by a process that involves humans nucleating Pearl-producing freshwater mollusks with pieces of mantle tissue. This process can result in many shapes and colors that may be natural or dyed. These Pearls remind us of the value of patience, resilience, and creativity.
  • Chinese Freshwater Pearl: One of the main types of cultivated Freshwater Pearls that are available, they can form in various shapes and a rainbow of pastel colors, as well as white, cream, and golden. Chinese Freshwater Pearls are created through a combination of the wisdom of humans and the natural world and lots of patience.
  • Ohio River Freshwater Pearl: These naturally formed Pearls were used in Native American jewelry. Their colors include white, cream, purple, rose, salmon, or yellow, and they seem to form in a wide variety of asymmetrical shapes. These Pearls are all about individuality.
  • Mississippi Freshwater Pearl: Natural Pearls from the Mississippi River system that display beautiful iridescence and colors, including light pink, purple-pink, orange-pink, brown-orange, and brownish-purple or brown. They are predominantly Baroque shapes but can also be near-round, button, and oval shaped. Mississippi Pearl energy helps us embrace our uniqueness.
  • Colorado River Pearl: Also known as Concho Pearls, these natural Pearls can be pink, purple, lavender, orangy, or brownish, and smaller specimens can be dull or chalky in luster. These Pearls have lovely color energies that help us feel the beauty and love in the present moment. 
  • Winged Freshwater Pearl: White to light-colored natural Freshwater Pearl that forms in a winglike shape and sometimes with a surface texture that contributes to the wing look. These Pearls have a pure and angelic presence. 
  • Round Freshwater Pearl: The conditions for a Round Freshwater Pearl to grow are particular and thus makes them quite rare naturally. Off-round or nearly round Freshwater Pearl shapes are available primarily due to culturing. This Pearl shape has a clarifying energy that brings us to a state of fuller presence. 
  • Baroque Freshwater Pearl: These are irregularly shaped Freshwater Pearls that can be natural or cultivated and form in various colors. No two Baroque Pearls are identical, and they truly encourage us to celebrate originality and have a fertile creative vibration. 
  • Dogtooth Freshwater Pearl: As the name suggests, these Freshwater Pearls look like long dog teeth. They have been used creatively within jewelry to make flower-like arrangements. Pearl is beneficial for the teeth and bones, and this type is no exception.
  • Pink Freshwater Pearl: Lightly pearlescent pastel pink Pearls that can be slightly purple or orange and can also be a darker pink. Pink Freshwater Pearls are lovely to wear as a necklace as they balance the Heart Chakra.
  • Purple Freshwater Pearl: These can be light lavender, deeper purples, pinkish purple, and even purple with stunning blue iridescence. This color variety is great to connect with in meditation to connect to your higher self and inner wisdom.
  • White Freshwater Pearl: White Freshwater Pearls often have an overtone of pink, silver, or cream, and they can form in all the typical Freshwater Pearl shapes. These organic gems have such a soothing and pure presence. 
  • Silver Freshwater Pearl: These Freshwater Pearls can be silvery white or dark metallic gray. This color energy encourages self-awareness and helps us attune to the frequency of elegance.
  • Golden Freshwater Pearl: They range from yellowish gold to bronze or orange gold. Golden Freshwater Pearls help us to attune to the vibration of abundance, riches, wealth, and luxury. They also help with activating the Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakras.
  • Orange Freshwater Pearl: Forming various shapes, typical of Freshwater Pearls, they can be lighter pearly orange, darker coppery orange, or brownish orange. This color variety is fantastic for boosting creativity.
  • Fancy Freshwater Pearl: Fancy Pearls are those that display several colors. Fancy Pearls that include the rare natural blue or green iridescence are highly valued. This variety is good for tapping into your divine femininity and creative expression
  • Bicolored Freshwater Pearl: These Pearl specimens exhibit two distinct colors within a single Pearl. Bicolored Pearls are very balanced and calming on all levels.

How to Cleanse Freshwater Pearl?

A small waterfall in nature

  • Water: Ideally, securely hold your Pearl within a natural freshwater body to cleanse and charge them immediately. You may also place Pearls in a bowl of pure fresh water for up to 7 minutes once every few months.
  • Selenite: Place your Pearl jewelry on a Selenite crystal cleansing and charging plate, or simply make sure any piece of Selenite is physically touching the Pearls for 1 hour.
  • Moonlight: Place your Pearls safely in an open window under the full or new moon for a few hours to energetically cleanse and charge them. 

Questions and Answers

Are Freshwater Pearls Real Pearls?

Yes, Freshwater Pearls are real Pearls. There are both naturally formed and cultured varieties, but both are formed within mollusks in freshwater.

What Happens if Freshwater Pearls Get Wet?

Freshwater Pearls can occasionally get wet with pure water for short periods without detriments. However, if you have a string of Pearls, the thread they are strung upon can perish faster due to water exposure.

Are Freshwater Pearls Precious?

Yes, natural Freshwater Pearls that form in unique shapes, high-quality luster, and iridescence are precious treasures of the underwater world. 

How to Clean and Care for Freshwater Pearls?

Pearls are pretty low on the MOHs scale, so handle them carefully. They can be cleaned with a damp, soft cloth and stored in a case or pouch between uses. It is recommended that Pearls that are well-worn be restrung periodically.

Can Freshwater Pearls Go in Sunlight?

It is recommended that Pearls be kept out of direct sunlight for extended periods, as they are sensitive to high heat. 

Are Freshwater Pearls Unethical?

The ethicality of Freshwater Pearls is mainly subject to personal beliefs. Some vegans may consider them unethical as the animal is harmed in the process. Others may argue that there is no problem, as if the entire animal, along with the Pearl, is honored and the energy well utilized.

How Big Can Freshwater Pearls Get?

Freshwater Pearls can grow up to 12 mm in size. The largest Freshwater Pearl is called the sleeping lion and is approximately 68mm.

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