This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Shopping Cart

Your cart is empty

Continue Shopping


Today, pearls are regarded as both classic and contemporary, coming in many more fashionable styles than your grandmother’s traditional strand of pearls.


All Hout & Co pearls are freshwater cultured pearls


Learning about the different types of pearls is important when adding items to your collection.


A cultured pearl results from the process by which a pearl farmer induces pearl formation by inserting an irritant into the mollusk. In response, the “invaded” tissue secretes a protective substance called nacre, a combination of crystalline and organic substances that builds and eventually after a few years develops into a pearl. Cultured pearls are real pearls that were not formed by accident of nature.

All pearls Hout & Co stock and sell are cultured. 


Freshwater pearls come from oysters that mature in non-salt water (from lakes or ponds, as opposed to saltwater from the sea). Freshwater pearls previously were not as round as saltwater pearls and were therefore less expensive. However, the past two decades have seen a huge increase in their quality for a number of reasons, but mostly because in the mid-1990’s the pearl-farming industry changed the type of mussels they used and lowered the number of grafts inserted in the mussel, and thereby the number of pearls produced.

Freshwater pearls today are a favourite of Hout & Co because of their improved quality and availability, and their individual uniqueness. 


Shell pearls/Mother of Pearl is made from the inner lining of oyster shells. The oyster shell lining is ground to a fine powder, shaped, dyed and coated with a protective coating to give it lustre. Shell "pearls", like almost everything, vary in quality and are much less expensive than saltwater "pearls". 


Hout & Co 18k Gold Plating

Our pieces are coated with a 18k PVD gold coating - Physical Vapor Deposition, or PVD, which is a vacuum coating gold plating process that produces a brilliant decorative and functional finish. Our PVD coatings utilise a titanium nitride that provides an extremely durable coating. Our PVD coatings are more resistant to fading from sweat and regular wear than standard gold plating.

We decided early on in our process to PVD coat all our pieces.

PVD coating was our choice of plating because of its;

  • Durability
  • Resistance to Corrosion
  • Longer lifetime
  • Longer period of time before discolouring, compared to standard gold plating
  • Hout & Co PVD coat is up to 10 times thicker, compared to standard gold plating

However, because of other materials used on some pieces, you can see on each item’s description page whether or not our pieces are waterproof.


The vast majority of Hout & Co pieces are our waterproof pieces which you can expect to wear everyday, in all conditions (except mineral pools), for a number of years in their original condition as the gold is much thicker. Over a number of years, with high everyday use, the gold can wear off in high contact areas. 


These are our statement earrings, "wear out on Saturday night" pieces that are not designed for everyday wear. For these pieces, we highly recommend wearing them how they were designed - away from water, lotions and perfumes, and you can expect a number of years use out of these items. 


For all pieces we recommend storing your pieces in the supplied Hout & Co pouch for safe keeping.