Tahiti Cultured Pearls
The black pearl
The exotic black pearls of the Pinctada Margaritifera or black-lipped pearl oyster, are more commonly known as pearls of Tahiti. These pearls are often referred to as black, but they actually cover a wide range of dark tones: Greys, browns, greens, blues, silvers and blacks. The pearls of Tahiti they are relatively new to the world of pearls, popularized only in the mid-XNUMXth century.
Unlike the more common types of pearls, Tahitian pearls usually have a naturally dark color and for this reason they have become one of the most curious in the world. Due to their wide range of colors, sizes and shapes, combining these pearls to make a necklace is a daunting task requiring thousands of loose pearls.
Tahitian cultured pearls in one of the oysters that create them
Sizes, colors and shapes
The pearls of Tahiti They are among the largest pearls in the world and range in size from approximately 7mm to 18mm. However, the beauty of Tahitian pearls is not limited to their size, but to their amazing array of iridescent colors. Black-lipped oysters have a rainbow mantle that exhibits all of the natural colors.
As for the rest of the saltwater pearls, to obtain those from Tahiti, a nucleus is included in the oyster, which favors obtaining a good amount of round or semi round pearls. However, they also get drop shaped pearls, baroque pearls, button and ringed pearls. As in the rest of the pearl species, round pearls are the most valuable Tahitian pearls.
How are Tahiti pearls grown?
Tahitian pearls are created including a core that the oyster covers after nacre, but unlike pearls Akoya, the mother-of-pearl is usually very thick. The thinnest nacre allowed by the French Polynesian government for export is 0,8mm, which is a depth that would be considered, in the world of Akoya pearls, to be extremely coarse. This guarantees the brightness and color intensity of these pearls.
Where do Tahitian pearls come from?
Although Tahitian pearls are named after the famous island of Tahiti, they are not grown on the island. Tahiti is the trading headquarters for the atolls that produce Tahitian pearls. Black lipped pearls are grown in the French Polynesia, The Islas Cook, The micronesian islands and to a certain extent, Japan, Thailand y Philippines, but only those grown in French Polynesia can be called Tahitian pearls.
Tahitian pearl oyster with its pearl on an atoll in French Polynesia