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Beading 101: Everything You Need to Know About Keshi Pearls - The Bead Traders

Beading 101: Everything You Need to Know About Keshi Pearls

If you are someone who enjoys the timeless beauty and elegance of pearls, you are likely already aware of several different types and styles. Whether you love the classic round gemstone in shades of white or ivory or you prefer the uniqueness of baroque pearls, you’ve undoubtedly seen many different types of pearls and formed your own tastes and preferences.

There may also, however, be some types with which you are unfamiliar. Keshi pearls, for example, are one type that many jewelry aficionados and designers alike know little about. So, what exactly are these beautiful stones and what makes them so special? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about keshi pearls.

What Are Keshi Pearls?

Keshi pearls are natural (and beautiful) by-products of the pearl culturing process. They don’t quite fit the industry standard for cultured pearls because they occur unintentionally while true cultured pearls are purposefully made. Most aren’t entirely natural, though, because they occur during the culturing process.

Cultured pearls are created by inserting an irritant inside a pearl-bearing mollusk, such as an oyster or a mussel. This irritant causes a layer of a substance known as nacre to develop. Over time, this build-up of nacre around the irritant forms what we know as a pearl.

Sometimes, a small piece of nacre breaks off during this process. This also serves as an irritant and triggers the mollusk to coat it with nacre, too. This results in an extra, unintentional pearl. And that pearl is known as a keshi pearl.

Keshi pearls can occur in all types of cultured pearls, including freshwater, Tahitian, Akoya and South Seas. While they are more common in cultured freshwater pearls, they can form in saltwater pearls, too.

baroque pearls strand

What Makes Keshi Pearls So Special?

For starters, keshi pearls form naturally. Cultured pearls are created by implanting an irritant–or nucleus–inside a mollusk. Because the keshi pearl forms from a piece of broken off nacre, the entire stone is pure nacre. There is no sand or synthetic irritant inside. The stone is completely natural, even though it does not entirely occur “naturally.”

This type of pearl is also incredibly lustrous. They have the shimmer and shine of other types of precious gemstones, and they do not lose their beauty over time. They tend to have even more luster than cultured pearls of the highest quality. They were once known as “the gifts of the mermaids” and were proudly worn by Arabian princesses.

They come in several different shapes and colors. Because they form without a nucleus, they tend to be baroque. Round keshi pearls are extremely rare. Shapes in which they sometimes form include oval, flat, rice and semi-round. They are very unique stones, which makes them ideal for anyone who loves the beauty of pearls but prefers jewelry pieces that set them apart from the crowd.

Keshi Pearls for Jewelry-Making

If you are a jewelry designer, purchasing keshi pearls is a great way to add a unique touch of elegance to your offerings. These gems come in a wide range of colors, sizes and shapes, and they are affordable enough to fit nearly any budget. And as long as you know how to clean freshwater pearls, they are easy to maintain and wear.

These unique stones work well in nearly any type of accessory you can imagine. Keshi pearl beads can be used to make stunning bracelets and dramatic dangle earrings. Keshis also look lovely when used to make one-of-a-kind brooches and hairpieces. They work well on rings and necklaces, too, and it’s possible to use them to create both casual and formal accessories. Keshi pearls offer a great deal of versatility for jewelry designers, and creations made with them are popular among consumers.

pearl pendant in gold frame


Keshi pearls are incredibly unique in that they are not exactly “cultured” pearls, but they aren’t entirely “natural,” either. They form as a natural by-product of the culturing process and are prized for their luster and beauty. If you are looking for a unique and affordable gemstone to add to your jewelry designs, these pearls could be just the ticket.

Whether you love their brilliant luster, are captivated by their unique shapes or love the interesting way in which they form, keshi pearls are must-haves for any pearl lover. At The Bead Traders, we carry a wide range of these semi-precious gems. Our keshi beads are of the highest quality and are ready for use in your next project. Check out our selection today!

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