Freshwater pearls are typically found in lakes and rivers in China or Japan, and are produced in mollusks called mussels.  Freshwater pearls have recently revolutionized the pearl industry by producing beautiful and lustrous natural white and pink pearls at a price that is a fraction of Akoya and smaller sized south sea pearls.

Freshwater pearls typically range in size from 5mm to 12mm, though occasionally some larger sizes can be found.  Freshwater pearls below 7mm are considered small in size.  7mm until 9mm are generally the more popular sizes selected for necklaces, while anything above 10mm is considered to be more rare and valuable, especially in the higher qualities.  Typically the larger the freshwater pearl the more difficult it is to find a round, lustrous pearl in that size.  This is especially the case in pearls over 10mm in size.