|South Sea pearls are cultured by Pinctada maxima oyster in South Sea. Pinctada maxima is also called the Silver-Lip or Gold-Lip Oyster depending on the color of its shell lip. These oysters can be as big as 30 cm and weigh 4-6 kilograms. South Sea pearls are cultivated in a variety of places - Australia, Indonesia, The Phillipines and Thailand. Currently Indonasia is the most important producer of pearls in the 9mm-12mm range. The main source of pearls over 12mm have been Australia. The Silver-Lip Oyster is the main Oyster in Australia to cultivate South Sea Pearls. The cultivation period may range from1.5 to 2 years. The Silver-Lip Oyster tends to produce Silvery-White pearls. South Sea pearls generally range in size from 8-20 mm.
Gold colored pearls have recently become very popular but they are rare. The Gold-Lip Oyster in which they are occasionally found normally produces light yellow and cream-colored pearls. Indonesia is the main source of yellow pearls but they are also produced in The Phillipines and Australia. South Sea pearls generally range in size from 8mm-20mm