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Tahitian pearls – also referred to as black South Sea pearls – are grown in the oyster called Pinctada margaritifera. This is, obviously, a pearl producing oyster, and is unique for its black lip, and its notably large size, with specimens commonly reaching a foot across and weighing as much as ten pounds.

The only place in the world that this type of oyster can be found is in Polynesia (also known as Tahiti) and other Pacific Islands that lie nearby.

Relatively new to farming, cultured black pearls have been available in Tahiti for less than three decades. Before that, they were considered to be extremely rare, and when a black pearl was discovered, it was worth a fortune. Its rarity increased as the Pinctada margaritifera began being hunted in the late nineteenth century…for its shell. Fortunately, re-population efforts have successfully rescued the species from extinction.

Farming black pearls is a much easier process with Tahitian pearls that it is with white pearls, not to mention the fact that it is notably less expensive to do. This is a result of the abundance of protected atoll lagoons in the Tahitian region. The result is higher availability, allowing pearl lovers to buy Tahitian pearl necklaces, possibly the most beautiful of all pearl strands.

Tahitian pearls are usually larger in size than the classic white Akoya pearls, ranging in size from 9mm to 18mm. Tahitian pearls are best known for their dark colorings.

Though considered to be black pearls, Tahitian pearls actually come in a range of different colors. These include:

  • Black
  • Green
  • Purple
  • Grey
  • Cream
  • White
  • Aubergine
  • Peacock green (the most desired)

Even Tahitian pearls that are referred to as “black” are rarely true black, but are instead similar shades to:

  • Gray
  • Silver
  • Charcoal

This makes the truly black pearls extremely rare, and quite valuable. If you should choose to buy a Tahitian pearl, you’ll find that they usually cost less than classic white pearls from the South Sea. A Tahitian pearl of satisfactory quality at about 9mm in size will usually cost around $200, while you could pay a few thousand dollars for the larger, 12 to 13 millimeter pearls of high quality.

Pure Pearls specializes in Tahitian Black pearls. Please inquire within about our Tahitian Pearls collection. We often carry pieces that are not shown on our website. We carry pieces ranging from $2,500-$5,500 and will customize a necklace to your preference of color,overtone, size, quality, and price range. All of our pricing is significantly more affordable than retail prices and we would love to have the opportunity to show you our collection. Call us at 1-800-762-0977 FREE for personalized service!

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