There are 4 basic types of pearl jewelry, namely natural, cultural, freshwater, and shell.
A simple way to tell natural pearls and cultural pearls apart is through price and color. Natural pearls are rare and more expensive than man-made pearls. Also, they don’t come in colors, like vivid pink, electric blue, and apple green.
Freshwater pearls are derived from oysters that mature in non-saline waters like lakes and ponds, hence the name. While shell pearls are formed from the inner lining of oyster shells.