Despite their name, Tahitian pearls are not found in Tahiti. Instead, they come from elsewhere in the waters of French Polynesia, a collection of islands in the South Pacific. While Tahitian pearls are often thought of as being black, they are actually a collection of colors leading them to be one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world.
Tahitian pearls are formed in an oyster referred to as the “black-lipped” oyster, which is about twice the size of the Japanese Akoya oyster. They take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to reach full maturity. A Tahitian pearl harvest is smaller than other types of pearls simply because there are far fewer of the oysters used to form them. When a technician removes a Tahitian pearl, he takes great care to ensure that the oyster is not harmed in any way. And if the oyster is healthy, he inserts another piece of shell and returns the oyster in the sea to begin the process all over again.
Once harvested, a Tahitian pearl is never bleached or chemically treated in any way. They are simply cleaned and lightly polished to best demonstrate their natural beauty.
Tahitian pearls are known for their lustre, or the way that light plays off of a pearl’s surface. Tahitian pearls come in all shapes, from round to oval to baroque. They display a variety of colors, mostly shades of gray but can be olive green, blue, or even peacock.
Tahitian pearls are some of the most beautiful and prized in the world, and the great demand for this beautiful gemstone is expected to continue well into the future.