Paspaley is the world’s leading producer of cultured South Sea pearls, supplying strands, pairs and loose pearls to the world’s leading jewellery retailers and wholesalers.

Paspaley operates the world’s last significant pearl diving operation and is the only source of natural pearls collected using regulated sustainable and environmentally responsible methods.


Australian South Sea Pearls are the rarest and most valuable pearls in the world. They combine unrivalled size, nacre quality and natural colour and lustre.


Paspaley’s wild oyster quota is hand-collected by its divers. Although logistically complex, this is an environmentally friendly and sustainable form of commercial fishing that causes no damage to the seabed and produces no wasteful by-catch.

Combined with a carefully regulated quota system, this practice has earned the Australian pearling industry an international reputation as a model sustainable wild fishery.

After a two-year assessment by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Australian pearling industry has been certified as the most sustainable and environmentally responsible in the world.

The MSC is the world’s leading non-profit organisation dedicated to sustainable and environmentally responsible use of wild marine resources. The certification is a world first for the pearling industry.


The Australian industry has a long and unrivalled history as the source of the world's most valuable pearls and mother-of-pearl.

The 80 Mile Beach pearling grounds were discovered in 1861. These pearling grounds were the richest ever found, and supplied 75% of the world’s demand for mother-of-pearl for the following century. They were also the source of many of the most important natural pearls ever discovered.

By 1910 Broome had become one of the most important pearling centres in the world, with nearly 400 luggers and over 3,500 people employed in the fishery.

As the result of Australia’s strictly regulated quota system, Australia now has the world’s last significant beds of wild South Sea pearl oysters. Due to these conservation measures, these pearl beds are healthier than they have been for more than a century.

Paspaley lugger Paspaley lugger, circa 1950
Nicholas Paspaley Nicholas Paspaley, MBE
Paspaley natural saltwater pearls A selection of Paspaley natural saltwater pearls


The Australian South Sea pearl oyster (Pinctada maxima) is the largest and rarest of all pearl oysters and produces the largest and most valuable of all pearls.

Australian production accounts for a mere 0.1% of global pearl production by weight but over 20% by value. Australia’s pearl production is regulated by way of a quota system enforced by the Australian Government.


White South Sea pearls with fine natural lustre and colour overtone (known as ‘orient’) are produced almost exclusively in Australia. Pearls from other regions are typically subjected to various treatments to replicate this appearance.


Australia has the world’s last pearling industry using wild oysters collected by pearl divers for pearl cultivation. All other countries use hatchery-reared oysters.


The beauty of a fine quality pearl is revealed the moment it is removed from the oyster. Such pearls require no colour or lustre enhancement.

As with other gemstones, lower quality pearls are commonly subjected to various processes to improve their appearance. Light processing will improve the lustre of a lower quality pearl. This type of treatment does not negatively affect the pearl’s structure but the lustre may fade after a few years.

Heavy chemical treatments may adversely affect the physical integrity of a pearl and can sometimes impart a coarse and chalky look and feel, diminishing the quality and appearance of the pearl over time.

Chemical enhancement is an acceptable practice when properly performed but enhancements must always be disclosed by the vendor as they do affect a pearl’s value.