Tahitian pearls or the black pearls are the only pearls in the world that are naturally black. These pearls coming from the Tahiti-Polynesian islands are not only rare, exotic and breathtakingly beautiful, they are also an important part of the Polynesian economy and lifestyle. This is so, because these islands are the leading exporters of fine black cultured pearls in the world.
What are Black Pearls?
From the Pinctada Margaritifera oyster, black pearls have thick pearly layers containing organic substances and calcium carbonate in the form of aragonite. These pearls come in myriad shapes, diameters, qualities and several natural shades, ranging from pale gray to anthracite black.
Colors, Sizes and Costs
The "Pinctada Margaritifera” or black-lip mother-of-pearl specially found in the waters of French Polynesia naturally secretes a black pigment. This pigment secreted by the mollusk gives color to the pearl ranging from deep black to gray to light silver. Also shades of green, blue and pink can be found. The saltwater oysters can grow to big sizes in the size of a dinner plate, resulting in luxurious pearls ranging from 8 to 18 mm in size. Prices range from $100 for a small pearl of average quality and up to $10,000 for a round pearl of perfect quality with a diameter of 18mm. However half pearls are much cheaper than real pearls and make outstanding rings and pendants.
Where They are Found
These oysters are cultivated mainly in the lagoons of French Polynesia. They are cultivated in pearl farms in the lagoons of the Tuamotu-Gambier Archipelago, a sprawling group of atolls and islands in French Polynesia.