Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tahitian Cultured Pearls

Tahitian Cultured Pearls, often called “Black Pearls” are found in the turquoise-colored lagoons of French Polynesia in the South Seas. A jewel of the sea and a living symbol of purity and perfection, Tahitian pearls have long had a reputation of exceptional value and rarity.

Tahitian Cultured Pearls are born from the black-lipped oyster, known scientifically as Pinctada margaritifera. These giant tropical mollusks can live for 30 years in the wild, can weigh up to 11 pounds and can grow to reach a foot in diameter. In the 19th century, free-diving Polynesians braved sharks, depths of up to 130 feet, and the bends to harvest the valuable mollusks. Although only one in 15,000 oysters produced a natural pearl, the inner shell was so popular with the Europeans button industry that the resource was eventually devastated.

Today, a complex cultivation process has resurrected the pear industry in French Polynesia. The French Polynesian Government has strict regulations on pearl production which assures quality and value.

Quality Information:

A: Pearl has very good luster, and exhibits one visible imperfection or a few slight imperfections at the most, distributed over less than 10% of the surface.
B: Pearl has a good to medium luster, and exhibits some slight imperfections visible to the naked eye, distributed over 30% of the surface.
C: Pearl has a medium luster, and exhibits several slight imperfections visible to the naked eye, distributed over 60% of the surface.

Color Information:

Dark Grey Color: Medium Dark to Dark Grey
Medium Grey Color: Medium to Medium Dark Grey
Fancy Color: Overtones of pink, blue, gold, green, silver and reddish purple

Tahitian Cultured Pearl Care

Pearl are not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing them. Avoid exposure to the heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. Avoid contact with chemicals, especially perfumes, perspiration, and hair sprays. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Source: Paspaley

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