August 12, 2022

Pure Pearls Weekly Newsletter: Tahitian Pearl Color Guide 🌴🎨 Rainbow of the Ocean



Pure Pearls Weekly Newsletter

"With melted opals for my milk, pearl leaf for my cracker." – Gwendolyn Brooks

See What's Inspiring Pure Pearls This Week

Pure Inspiration: One of a Kind Tahitian Pearl, Green Tourmaline and Diamond Pavé Ring 12.8mm, 7.8ct Asscher Cut Gemstone, 18K White Gold by Hinerava


One of a Kind Tahitian Pearl, Green Tourmaline and Diamond Pavé Ring 12.8mm, 7.8ct Asscher Cut Gemstone, 18K White Gold

Pure says: Lush and vibrant - this captures the essence of the tropics.

Pearls by Hinerava


Pearl Science, News and FAQs - Your Questions, Answered!





Tahitian Pearl Colors


A long-standing personal favorite pearl type of mine, Tahitian pearls come in a rainbow of colors that can dazzle the pickiest of pearl lovers.

Tahitians can be as vivid and saturated as the intensely colored beetles and butterflies found in the Amazon rainforest, or as subtle and soft as the glowing grey pastels seen each morning when tule fog blankets the beaches.

This short, visuals-rich guide will go over the most popular and common Tahitian Pearl Colors you'll encounter today accompanied by a short description of the body color and Overtone combinations that you'll usually see. Enjoy!


Tahitian Pearl Body Colors


Tahitian Pearl Body Colors

Tahitian pearls are the "black" pearl that aren't really black! The primary colors (the main "base" color of the pearl) occur in a range of greys all the way to jet black.

Usually these pearls' body colors can be found from very pale Dove Grey to varying shades of Charcoal Greys - from Medium Charcoal Grey to Dark Charcoal Grey. Actual Jet Black Tahitian pearls are rather rare! 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Peacock


Peacock Overtones

"Peacock" is the most popular and well-known Tahitian Pearl Overtone of all. Typically, Peacock is a swirling, iridescent mix of Green, Gold and Rose colors, sometimes with splashes of Blue and/or Teal Blue-Green. 

This Overtone can be incredibly intense and saturated like the pearls above, or softer and less intense (but still lovely!) ... the most intense Peacock Overtones are usually seen on Baroque Tahitian pearls. That's because baroque pearl shapes are created by uneven nacre layers that can see thicker areas of crystalline platelets which intensify the colors, as well as enhance light play and iridescence. True Round pearl shapes feature a much smoother, more even distribution of nacre, so finding pearls to match the color intensity found with Baroque pearls is more rare. 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Green


Green Overtones

Another popular and very classic Overtone is Green - this gorgeous color can range from a "warm" Green that features tinges of Gold, or very "cool" toned by incorporating Blue-ish hints and Silver tints. You'll want to look for a Medium to Dark Charcoal Grey body color as a solid base for the Green to maximally shine. 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Blue-Green


Blue-Green Overtones

I adore the Blue-Green Overtones - a colorful tonal mix of Blue-Green to Teal colors; the best examples are nicely saturated, and laid over a Medium-Dark Charcoal Grey body color. 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Silver


Silver Overtones

Silver Overtones are another personal favorite of mine - besides Blue, it is THE favorite for me! Laid over a Pale Dove Grey to Light Charcoal Grey body color, Silver presents as a whitish sheen, usually kissed with pale iridescence (typically Blue, Green or Rose).

A "cool" Overtone, Silver nevertheless pairs beautifully for blondes, redheads and those with pinks in their complexions that usually don't tolerate "cool" palettes well. Silver is also a brighter Overtone choice that reflects TONS of light which allows these pearls to appear larger than they actually are. 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Steel


Steel Overtones

Steel is much more common than Silver ... you can also hear specialists refer to this as a "Gunmetal Grey". Steel happens when that whitish sheen is laid over Medium to Dark Charcoal Grey body colors with little to no added iridescence or other secondary colors. 

Steel is a very classic Overtone choice, and one you'll encounter quite a bit with the larger Tahitian pearl sizes. Larger pearls, 12.0mm and up, are produced by older, more mature pearl oysters as a second or even third nucleation. As the oyster ages, its metabolism begins to slow down, and nacre deposition is not as intensely compacted and colors end up being a tad more muted. Intensely colored Tahitians can definitely be found - don't get me wrong! - but you will end up paying a premium for them as they are more rare and usually snapped up quickly by collectors. 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Aquamarine


Aquamarine Overtones

A beloved cousin to Silver, Aquamarine is often seen shimmering over a Pale Dove Grey body color, even Medium Charcoal Grey body colors offer a solid base for Aquamarine Overtones to shine. 

Aquamarine is a pale Greenish-Blue Overtone (as opposed to Blue-Green) that lies on the "cool" spectrum, usually. 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Rose


Rose Overtones

This popular Overtone is very prominent, popular and prevalent with Tahitian pearls! Rose is a pale to intensely saturated pink color that shows up beautifully on the entire range of body colors from Pale Dove Grey to Very Dark Charcoal Grey. 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Cherry/Aubergine


Cherry / Aubergine Overtones

Cherry, also known as Aubergine (this is a French word for "Eggplant"), is Rose revved up to the max mixed with Dark Blue Overtones. Cherry is a rare Overtone combination, and usually occurs over body colors of Dark to Very Dark Charcoal Grey. Valuable and sought-after, Cherry / Aubergine is a collector's treat! 


Tahitian Pearl Colors: Multi-Color


Multi-Colored Overtones

Multi-Colored Tahitian layouts combine all the colors in well-placed, artistic designs that are meant to see each Overtone complement the other. Multi-Color Tahitian layouts can be nearly any combination you can imagine, but most of them are either Medium-Dark and very saturated or they are a combination of Pale, Silvery to Aquamarine colors. 

There are many, many other Overtones that Tahitian pearls can possess - this is just a short list. Overtones such as Gold, Bronze, Chocolate, Pistachio Green and more are all well-known and well-loved color combinations. Which one is your favorite? 

Till next time. 


- Ashley 



The PurePearls.com Wishlist: Weekly Pearl Jewelry Spotlight




Pure Pearls Weekly Product Spotlight: Tahitian Pearl and Diamond Erica Pendant


A sparkling embrace of diamonds adorns this rare black Tahitian pearl. Each Tahitian pearl is graded AAA or AAAA Quality, and has been selected for its gorgeous overtones and sharp, metallic luster.

Each pearl is mounted on a solid 14K Gold and 0.15cttw VS1-GH Quality diamond pendant, hand cast in our Los Angeles workshop. Pendant comes suspended from matching 14K Gold Chain. We offer 14K White or Yellow Gold.

Each Tahitian pearl is completely unique and as individual as its owner - expect to see variations in shape, surface, color, size differing from the product pictures. Pearl pendant arrives in our Signature Little Black Gift Box with Pearl Care Instructions and a Certificate of Authenticity.


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