July 21, 2023

Pure Pearls Weekly Newsletter: The Colorful World Tahitian Pearl Overtones


Pure Pearls Weekly Newsletter



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Tahitian Pearl Overtones



It's no secret that Tahitian pearls are a total favorite of mine. These dazzling pearls are one of the most colorful and unique varieties, and never cease to amaze with their rainbow of shimmering overtones. 

Tahitian pearls can found in pale, ephemeral dove greys and silvers all the way to true jet black, but my heart goes aflutter when you find them in vivid, intensely saturated colors reminiscent of the iridescent butterflies native to the Amazon rainforests. 

So let's explore the nearly endless world of Tahitian pearl overtones and body colors! We'll examine the most common color combinations you'll come across today when shopping for a Tahitian Pearl Necklace or Tahitian Pearl Earrings.



Tahitian Pearl Body Colors


Body Colors of Tahitian Pearls

The Tahitian pearls' claim to fame is that it's the world's most famous naturally "black" pearl, but the truth is: Tahitian pearls aren't really a true black ... the body colors of Tahitians most often come in a range of grey hues. 

"Body Color" in this case refers to the main, or primary, color of the pearl - aka, its "base" color.

Beginning from a very pale Silvery-White at one extreme, and steadily darkening through the spectrum to Dove Grey, Light Charcoal Grey, Medium Charcoal Grey and Dark Charcoal Grey and then finally to varying degrees of "Black", with a true Jet Black at the other end of of this spectrum. 

The vast majority of Tahitian pearls you'll come across today exist somewhere in the middle in varying shades of Charcoal Grey. 

On to the Overtones! 


Tahitian Pearl Overtones: 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 Overtones: 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 Overtones: 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 Overtones: 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 Overtones: 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 Overtones: 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 Overtones: 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 Overtones: 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 Overtones: Multicolor


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 (shown above!) 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: Silvery Multi-Color Tahitian Pearl Necklace, 10.0-12.0mm - AAAA Quality



Color, color, color!! This Tahitian Pearl Necklace is a treasure from the heart of the Ocean. Gleaming with iridescent Overtones of intense Peacock, Blue-Green, Silver-Blue, Rose and warm Pistachio hues, kissed with sparkling Silver. A new Pure Pearls favorite, the pearls display bright, crisp luster and subtly graduated sizes.
The AAAA Quality Tahitian Pearl Necklace features True-Round Tahitian pearls, 10.0-12.0mm in size. The pearls will be individually double-knotted on matching black silk and finished with a 14K Gold clasp of your choice. Each pearl purchase comes nestled in our signature Little Black Jewelry Box and is accompanied with a GIA Graduate Prepared Retail Appraisal, detailed Pearl Care Instructions and Pearl Polishing Cloth.

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. 


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