Tahitian Pearls are also known as “Black Pearls”. They are typically found in French Polynesia and in the South Pacific. The first culturing started in 1961 in Bora Bora where they discovered Pearl Farms could multiply in the region. Therefor farms were created in Manihi, Marutea and Mangareva in order to increase French Polynesian pearl production.
The actual process of raising a pearl is not easy, and requires tedious work due to the fragile state of the oysters. At specific times in the year, the black lipped oyster produces spawn that is then fertilized in the ocean water. The baby oyster known as a “spat” settle onto a coral or in the sand after it floats freely in the water for about a month.
The pearl farmers then intervene and collect the spat. Then they are reared on lines for more than three years, during which the oysters are under constant care.
Finally when an oyster reaches maturity, it is ready for a process called nucleation. This is when a small round peice of mother- of – pearl is delicatly inserted into the oyster. This insertion stimulates the secretion of a pearly substance called “nacre”, which gradually covers the nucleus in layers. After several years of layers gradually building, a pearl is formed. The pearl is then carefully removed and the oyster is placed back into the lagoon. Out of one hundred oysters, fifty will produce pearls. And consequently out of those fifty, only five will be perfect gems.
After this long process it is apparent as to why these pearls are so desperately sought after, especially by celebrities and royalty.
The famous Robert Wan, is a world renowned pearl expert. The Robert Wan Pearl Museum located in Papeete, Tahiti holds the largest Tahitian pearl in the world. Robert himself invited Paris Hilton to French Polynesia and surprised her with a luxurious strand of Tahitian Pearls worth $130,000.
Here at Secret Sapphire we carry beautiful Tahitian pearls! Come by our Yaletown location and check out the delicate strands and earrings!!
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