In-depth information about cultured black pearls from Tahiti
Perleria de Tahiti and Georgia H. specialize in designing and creating jewelry showcasing genuine cultured Tahitian pearls. They handcraft a wide array of bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings and other sumptuous pieces featuring this unique gem. The following will provide more in-depth information about the characteristics and assets of cultured black pearls.
The origins of a cultured Tahitian black pearl
Cultured Tahitian pearls are produced in the atolls and lagoons of French Polynesia. The process begins through Nacriculture, or the cultivation of pearl-bearing oysters called Pinctada margaritifera, commonly known as the black-lip pearl oyster. These oysters are cultivated on collectors that look like a network of ropes that stretch across the lagoon. After a period of gestation the pearl farmers detach the young oysters from the ropes. They create a small hole near the hinge of their shells and hang between 10 to 20 oysters from a rope called a chaplet. These chaplets are hung in deep water (26 to 32 feet). The oysters are carefully tended until they reach a certain size.
Once the oyster is mature the grafting process is begun. A small nucleus is inserted into the oyster in the hopes of producing a pearl. Conditions must be ideal to create these natural gems. This rare phenomenon certainly underlines a unique harmony between man and nature, working in symbiosis to create a genuine object of beauty.
Prized by high-end jewelers
The Tahitian black pearl is renowned for being the most famous colored pearl in the world. It is a rare resource commonly used to create luxury and high-quality jewelry. Although it is called a black pearl, it comes in an array of colors. In fact, no two cultured Tahitian pearls are alike.
The color and shape of Tahitian pearls vary greatly. The roundest, more symmetrical pearls are the most sought-after and therefore command the highest price. A pearl’s price increases with its size. For every 1,000 oysters that are grafted only 700 pearls are harvested. Only 5 to 10% of these pearls are round and 20% are set aside as unmarketable. The remaining pearls that are not round are categorized according to their shapes: semi-round, button, drop, ringed and baroque.
Characteristics of a genuine cultured Tahitian black pearl
Genuine Tahitian black pearls are highly sought after and have tremendous value in the luxury world for several reasons. They are unique due to their color, shape, quality and durability.
How to choose the most beautiful pearls?
If you are not well versed in this matter, it is not a problem since Laurent Pereira, founder of Perleria de Tahiti, will explain to you in detail how he selects the best gems. Pereira worked for several years with Robert Wan, the most famous entrepreneur in the world of Tahitian black pearls.
Color is often the first characteristic that is considered when it comes to buying cultured Tahitian pearl jewelry. This selection is often made to complement the wearer’s skin, eye or hair color. However there are seven other characteristics to keep in mind.
Georgia H.’s evaluation process
The seven criteria
The criteria for evaluating Tahitian black pearls are as exacting as those used to determine the quality of a diamond. The following gives a brief overview of the criteria that the House of Georgia H. uses when they evaluate the pearls used in their designs.
The smallest pearls have a diameter of 7 mm. The majority are between 8 and 12 mm in diameter. Anything bigger than 13 mm is considered to be a prized and rare pearl.
The color of a pearl is very important. Cultured Tahitian black pearls are technically multicolored. They have many hues, black, grey, medium grey, lighter grey, yellow, brown and so on. However there are five main undertones: pink, green, pistachio, blue and magenta. The dominant color is called the orient or iridescence. The most sought-after colors are blue lagoon, tropical green and deep aubergine.
Tahitian black pearls come in a variety of shapes such as baroque, button, teardrop, ringed, round or semi-round. Perfectly round pearls are ideal for creating necklaces and rings but they represent only 5% of the harvest, increasing their value.
The luster is the reflection of light on the surface and is what give the pearl its sheen. A cultured pearl must be shiny and bright.
A pearl’s orient proves that it is organic. It is the rainbow of colors that seems to emanate from the very depths of the pearl. This rainbow effect is created by the play of light that bounces off the layers of microscopic aragonite crystals that form around the nucleus. The stratums of aragonite crystals reflect a different color depending on the farming conditions present when the pearl was forming, including the presence of phytoplankton, the water temperature and the amount of sunlight.
The surface quality of a pearl has a direct impact on its value. A pearl increases in value if it has few blemishes. It is very hard to come by a completely flawless surface. So it is important to take note of how obvious these flaws are. Blemishes such as chips, gaps and cracks are the most serious factors as they can cause a pearl to peel or break, threatening its durability and diminishing its value.
Each pearl is given a grade depending on the size of its surface flaws. It should be noted that Perleria de Tahiti uses its own simplified grading scale A/A+/AA2/AA1/AAA (AAA being the finest quality).
Perleria de Tahiti & the House of Georgia H. welcome you in Andorra!
Feel free to come and meet us at the Georgia H. boutique, in Andorra la Vella. Our emporium of more than 300 varieties of rare cultured Tahitian black pearls is worth a trip. We provide outstanding customer service and are ready to help you choose a readymade piece or assist you with the design of a bespoke piece that will become an heirloom and treasured piece in your collection.