Keshi Pearls: Properties, Benefits & Meanings

Keshi Pearls
Keshi Pearls

Keshi Pearls Overview

Keshi Pearl is a type of pearl found only in China and Japan. They are famed throughout the world for their beauty and properties.

This article will take a look at the properties, uses, and meanings of the Keshi Pearls.

  • Variety of: Pearls
  • Wearability: Good
  • Symbols: Compassion, Acceptance
  • Color: White, Pink
  • Hardness: 2.5 – 4.5
  • Birthstone: None

What are Keshi Pearls?

Keshi is a Japanese word also meaning “poppy” (ケシ, 芥子); it is used in Japanese for all pearls that grow without a nucleus. Originally, Keshi pearls referred to pearls that were formed when the nucleus of a bead was rejected during production.

Recently, Keshi pearls have been used to refer to second-harvest pearls and even freshwater non-nucleated ones.

Many leading gem trade associations consider using “Keshi pearl” to refer to freshwater pearls because Keshi pearls mostly have no nucleus and are composed entirely of nacre.

A pearl is a complex, shining object that forms within an oyster or another type of mollusk.

Like the mollusk shell, which is produced by layers of calcium carbonate depositing in crystalline form, pearls are made from calcite or aragonite.

They are tiny, non-nucleated pearls that form as byproducts during the cultivation of other pearl types.


The following are all causes of Keshi pearls:

  • Similar to how wild natural pearls are formed, an attack on a pearl sac by a predator that bores through its shell creates Keshi pearls, except that captive mollusks are more susceptible.
  • Injuries to mollusks, such as driving shell fragments into mantle tissue.
  • Cultivation mishaps usually occur when a mantle tissue graft separates from an inserted nucleus which causes the intended nucleated pearl to fail, creating smaller Keshi pearls.
  • Most Keshi pearl farming is done with a type of cultivation called deliberate non-nucleation.
  • Keeping freshwater mollusks alive after harvesting the pearls attached to their shells.

Although it should be noted that miniature pearls (<2mm) are not cultivated since there is no financial incentive to do so because naturally occurring tiny pearls are relatively plentiful. It usually isn’t possible to determine which of these caused an individual Keshi pearl to grow.

Terminology and History

“Keshi” originated in Japan as a name for pearls without nuclei. The cultivation of Akoya pearls, which began in Japan in the 1920s, produced tiny greyish pearls as a byproduct. This was mostly practiced in the South Sea. Champagne pearls are also farmed from this location.

Traders coming from India, where natural pearls were harvested and processed during past centuries, needed no sales to talk to convince them that they could sell Japanese Akoya Keshi in their market. Because of the similarities between these cultured and natural pearls, the traders sold them to visiting Arabs without hesitance.

The availability of a skilled labor force from India enabled the arrangement to be made for Indian workers to sort, drill and string tiny pearls known as Keshi.

Where are They found?

Keshi pearls are obtained from the following countries:

  • China
  • Japan

Japanese Vs. Chinese Pearls

Pearl importers in consumer countries, and the trade associations, have recommended that only ocean pearls be called Keshi—not freshwater or cultured pearls. This is explained by the fact that ocean pearl Keshi was already a known product before freshwater versions became available.

In the Japanese language, the usage of Keshi certainly includes freshwater pearls. However, it has always been a generic term, not reserved for freshwater pearls, and its application by the Chinese market is based on visual similarity.

Chinese use of the word Keshi for freshwater pearls is generally limited to those from the second harvest. Second-harvest pearls differ considerably from the plump, full shapes of first-harvest freshwater pearls. This is because during a young mussel’s growth period—when nacre production is at its peak—second harvest mollusks produce smaller beads.

The Chinese use the word Keshi to differentiate between two different products, while the Japanese usage—requiring that a nucleus be absent from an otherwise intact cell—is equally applicable to both.

Nature vs. nurture controversy

It is impossible to know if an individual Keshi pearl grew serendipitously or was inserted into the mantle tissue artificially makes them all classified as cultivated/cultured pearls.

It is possible to give any information about the type of Keshi pearls by examining supply and demand. However, all types of mollusks used for pearl cultivation, both ocean and freshwater species, naturally contain tiny pearls called seed pearls (less than 2 mm), so devising ways to cultivate small pearls has never been in demand.

The labor-intensive process of making Akoya pearls resulted in many tiny “byproducts” called Keshi, which had little or no value. On the other hand, Southsea pearls are farmed in more giant mollusks and can be pretty valuable.

In pre-1985 Japan, freshwater cultivators commonly used bits of active mantle tissue left over from in-body bead nucleation by slipping a few Keshi into the body.

Because Keshi farms in China are discarded rather than used, the market for them is too small to make it worth expending even a tiny fraction of the mussels’ strength on producing freshwater Keshi. Freshwater Keshi pearls from China are cultivated but in an indirect way. 

What Are Their Physical Properties?

They have the following physical properties:

Mineral GroupPearls
Chemical nameCalcium Carbonate
ColorWhite, Pink
Hardness (Mohs scale)2.5 – 4.5
Refractive Index1.52 – 1.66
Specific Gravity2.60 – 2.85
TransparencyTranslucent, Opaque
Table Physical Properties

Typical Appearance

Keshi pearls are made of solid nacre and have high luster. Most of the colors typical of cultivated mollusks are represented among them, but in the case of Akoya pearls, they often contain more gray than bead-nucleated ones.

Their lustrous shine is a result of light being reflected, refracted, and diffracted off the translucent layers within their shells. Therefore, the more layers in a pearl—and the thinner they are—the more refined its luster is.

Cultured pearls come in various colors— White, pink, silver-, cream-, golden-colored and green– among the most common. However, when viewed through their top layer, the most valuable pearls have a luminous luster reminiscent of metal surfaces like platinum or silver.

Because they don’t have a bead nucleus, Keshi Pearls are solid nacre. Keshi occurs in a wide variety of unique shapes. In contrast to saltwater Pearls, baroque shapes predominate in Keshi varieties—that is, the strand will consist mainly of irregularly shaped pearls rather than round ones. On average, their sizes can run from six to ten millimeters or 0.2 inches.

Keshi Pearls
Keshi Pearls

How can you tell if They are genuine or not?

Some easy methods you can use at home are:

  • Color: Check the color for vibrancy and monotony. If it’s monotonous and lacks depth, it is likely fake. Look for natural color changes, which are most common in the center of the pearl.
  • Luster: Look for a good luster, which is how light reflects off the pearl. If your freshwater pearl has no shine or has a poor sheen, it’s probably fake.
  • Surface: Examine the surface of your Freshwater Pearl closely. It is probably fake if you see lines or cracks in it.
  • Comparing: Compare the pearl you are inspecting to other pearls of the same type. It is likely fake if it differs in size, shape, or color. You can also compare your pearl against pictures of real ones online.

Price and Value

Keshi Pearls are highly prized and valuable because of their lustrous luster. Since they’re purely precious materials, the cost is determined by weight; like a gemstone, when collected and designed into magnificent strands or wearable artworks as jewelry, their value skyrockets—and more so when both occur at once!


Color is the most crucial factor for determining the price of Keshi Pearls. The most desirable colors are cream or pink, but other hues can also be found. The more intense and pure the color, the more valuable it will be.


The size of a Keshi pearl is the most critical factor in determining its value. Larger Keshi Pearls are rarer, more valuable, and more desirable than smaller ones.


The shape of the Keshi pearl has a significant impact on price. A round or near-round shape is considered the most desirable, followed by an oval or drop shape. The least common shapes are button and teardrop-shaped pearls.


The surface of the Keshi pearl is another critical factor in determining its value. A high luster and smooth finish are desirable characteristics, as they indicate that the pearl has undergone minimal processing. If a pearl appears dull or has visible imperfections on its surface, it will be worth less than if these flaws are absent.

Chakra Association

Which chakra is associated with These Pearls?

They are associated with the heart chakra. Keshi Pearls are often used to clear and balance the heart chakra, especially when it has become imbalanced by negative emotions or trauma. They can also be used to open your heart to love, joy, compassion, and forgiveness.

Where is the heart chakra located?

The heart chakra is located at the center of your chest. It is about the size of a clenched fist and sits on top of your lungs. The color associated with this chakra is green.

What is another name for the heart chakra?

The heart chakra is also known as the Anahata chakra, which means “unstruck” in Sanskrit.

What does the Keshi Pearl symbolize?

Keshi Pearl symbolizes the following:

  •  Love and compassion: Keshi Pearls earrings have the power to open your heart chakra and bring forth feelings of love, compassion, and forgiveness. They help you connect with others deeply and allow you to see beyond appearances.
  • Self-love, acceptance, and forgiveness: Keshi Pearls pendants help you learn to accept yourself and forgive others, which is especially important when trying to heal from trauma or abuse. They also encourage self-love, allowing you to see your value and worth.
  • The balance between masculine and feminine energies (also known as the yin and yang): These Pearls help balance the masculine and feminine energies within you, which helps to bring about a sense of oneness with the Universe. This is especially beneficial for those who feel disconnected or isolated from others, as it allows them to connect on a deeper level.
  • Higher self-esteem: Keshi Pearls encourage you to become more confident in yourself and your abilities, which helps to boost your self-esteem. They can also help you feel more grounded and secure in your identity, allowing for greater freedom of expression.
  • Physical health: They help balance your chakras and improve your overall physical health. Some people claim that they can even alleviate the symptoms of certain diseases, such as cancer, but this has not been scientifically proven.

What are their uses?

  • Keshi Pearls are graceful and soothing, strengthening the body and mind. They bring peace to the heart and mind, soothe anxiety and fear, and relieve fatigue and insomnia. Their compassionate energy makes them effective in healing both physical ailments and emotional distress.
  • They are said to have been used by ancient shamans and healers to enhance their powers. Keshi Pearls are valued for helping improve one’s wisdom and understanding. They have a gentle energy that is calming and powerful at the same time. Keshi Pearls can be a great tool to use for those learning the art of meditation.
  • You can use these large, round Keshi pearls to carry around with you as you connect with your higher self. They are great for any time you need extra energy or want to feel better.
  • Keshi pearls are used to attract prosperity, luck, and wealth. Keshi is the embodiment of good luck and prosperity. Furthermore, they contain double positive energy, magnifying their positive effects on the wearer’s life.
  • Keshi pearls are also used to attract love, relationships, and healing. They also allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and can help you feel better about yourself when you need some support.
Keshi Pearls Jewelry
Keshi Pearls Jewelry

How to clean Keshi Pearl Jewelry?

Here are some steps to help your Keshi Pearl jewelry, like Keshi necklaces, retain its beauty.

  1. These pearls are known for their luster, but if yours develops a dull or dingy appearance, you can restore the original shine by washing it gently under warm water.
  2. Soak the stained area in warm water. Then scrub it gently with a soft toothbrush until all traces of the stain are gone from your Keshi Pearls.
  3. Clean your Keshi pearl by wiping it with a microfiber cloth.
  4. Cleanse your Keshi pearl using burning sage to remove any negativity absorbed, which can negatively impact the surroundings. There is no perfect method for cleansing pearls; you’ll have to research and experiment with different ways at home until you find the best technique.
  5. There are various ways to recharge your amulet, including immersing it in moonlight or burying it underground. Give it at least six hours, but overnight is ideal.

Although most ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are safe, some precautions should be taken. For example, it’s best to keep Keshi Pearl apart from other jewelry pieces so as not to damage the finish.


What’s the difference between a Baroque and Keshi pearl?

Baroque Pearls: These pearls are shaped like slightly elongated spheres with uneven surfaces.
Keshi Pearls: These non-nucleated (lacking a beaded nucleus) pearls come in all shapes and sizes—100% solid nacre, every time!

Are Keshi pearls freshwater or saltwater?

Keshi is the Japanese word for poppy seed. It’s used to describe very small pearls produced by loose tissue pieces in oysters of both saltwater and freshwater varieties, as well as the Akoya pearl oyster species alone.

Which gemstones go well with Keshi Pearls?

You can wear Keshi Pearls with coral, amber, or turquoise jewelry pieces for an earthy look. If you want something more glamorous, try adding some color with emeralds and rubies!
Keshi Pearls are an excellent accessory for any outfit, but they look incredibly lovely when paired with other natural materials.
They also go well with translucent varieties of Chalcedony.

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