Tahitian pearls also known as black cultured pearls are popular for their exotic color. With large sizes and pinkish or greenish sheen, they are indicative of the South Pacific tropical settings where they come from.
The French Polynesia islands (including Tahiti) were found in the 1700s and soon explorers were celebrated for treasures found in the waters – including natural pearls. Soon after people began culturing or farming Akoya pearls in Japan, farmers started trying to farm black pearls in the South Pacific. But they did not become successful in the pearl market until the 1960s.
The black-lipped and very large oyster native to the South Pacific waters is where black cultured pearls started. This oyster is almost double the size of the Akoya pearl oysters and develops pearls that are larger. This species of oysters is the reason for the color of the pearls coming from it. In fact, the black Tahitian cultured pearls are the largest export from French Polynesia. Also the Cook Islands harvest black pearls.
To farm Tahitian pearls, 1 shell bead very round is transplanted into the tissue of a very large black-lipped pearl oyster. In response to the irritant, this oyster starts to create nacre which is the coating that forms the pearl. The longer these pearls remain in water, the more nacre coats will develop making the pearl even more beautiful.
Pearls that are black take about 2 to 3 years to develop. Once the oyster of a black pearl is developed, it then is usually implanted again, for up to 3 or 4 times in its lifetime.
Color and surface
Now, black pearls are not always black. Usually they will be a dark charcoal with some overtones:
They also have colors of gray or silver. Tahitian pearls are normally not dyed; the colors should be natural.
These black pearls are lustrous and beautiful, with varied colors appearing in their shine. But, since they are cultivated in waters that are warm, they don’t always have quite the same sheen or shine that the Akoya cultured pearls have. Click here https://pearlsonly.ca/ for more info on Tahitian pearls