Tahitian Pearl info

Basic information


There is nothing quite as exotic as a Tahitian Pearl. Available in vivid colors, this particular specimen is also commonly referred to as a black pearl. This type of gem is formed like any other pearl--a tiny piece of debris is lodged within the soft tissue of a mollusk, and in order to soothe the discomfort, the oyster coats the little foreign object in nacre. As more and more layers are formed the end result is a beautiful brand new gem. What makes Tahitian Pearls different is that they are formed inside of a Tahitian Black Lipped Oyster or, as it is scientifically known, Pinctada Margaritifera. The special thing about this oyster is the thick black bands of tissue, which produces a dark liquid that is soaked up into the nacre and is then used to make the pearl inside. This is what caused pearls to be produced in green, purple, blue, gray, silver, black, and multiple peacock-like colors. Unlike its freshwater cousins, this oyster tends to only be able to produce one pearl at a time, which makes the Tahitian Pearl extremely valuable and rare. Prior to the development of culture technology, this sort of pearl was so rare that according to LiveScience.com it only ever occurred once in every ten-thousands pearls. Also, long before pearl farming was available, this type of gem was found exclusively in a number of Pacific islands--including Tahiti,the Cook islands, Fiji, and to a lower extent Thailand, Japan and the Philippines. Today, they are also grown and harvested in Australia.


The Tahitian Peals, as we previously stated, are commonly known as black pearls. However, a Tahitian Pearl is very rarely true black. Mostly, it comes in a variety of vibrant dark colors which is what separates it so much from other softer toned pearls. This exotic coloration makes the gems more desirable and versatile for jewelry use. The Pinctada Margaritifera is capable of making lighter shaded gems; thus we have the gray, and silver hues. But what makes the Tahitian Black Lipped Oyster so very special is the vivid green, blue and purple pearls that is produced on fewer occasions. Far rarer and more spectacular is the multi-colored peacock gem which is a pearl that features the same highlights that are often found upon the feathers of these regal birds.

Here's an interesting little fact. The only naturally black pearl available has come from a Black Lipped Oyster. In other words, only Tahitian Pearls are truly and naturally black. Any other pearl that is offered in black, be it Akoya, White South Sea, or Golden South Sea--had to have undergone treatment to attain its coloration, either with dye or radiation.


A cultured Tahitian Pearl can be grown from anywhere between 2 to 5 years. Each Tahitian Black Lipped Oyster can be implanted about twice, and with each mollusk being able to produce only one pearl, each oyster is particularly precious. The Pinctada Margaritfera is able to produce much bigger specimens than its Akoya cousin. The smallest Tahitian Pearls are commonly found to be around 8 to 9 mm and the largest around 13.5 to 14,5 mm. These larger gems and the darker colorations of green, blue, purple, silver, gray and peacock hues makes these pearls perfect as center pieces on rings, pendants and studded earrings.