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Tahitian Pearls Geography & History
07-15-2011, 01:39 PM

Tahitian Cultured Pearls are commonly referred to as as Black South Sea Cultured Pearls. In fact, if you visit Mikimoto's website, you will find this pearl seller referencing this gem under the name "Black South Sea" under "Pearl Types" in their website menu.

Some sellers refer to Tahitian Pearls as Black South Sea Pearls because they originate from the "South Seas" or the southern Pacific Oceans as indicated in this Wikipedia link. This group of nearly 1,000 islands is known as Polynesia. Others refer to the black colored pearls as Tahitian Pearls as Tahiti is this is the largest island in the group of islands known as French Polynesia. Tahiti is also the economical, political, cultural and pearl trading port.

<iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=";source=s_q&amp;hl=en&a mp;geocode=&amp;q=tahiti&amp;sll=37 .0625,-95.677068&amp;sspn=64.025309,110.30 2734&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear= Tahiti&amp;ll=-17.65092,-149.426042&amp;spn=0.614289,0.86174 &amp;t=h&amp;z=11&amp;output=embed" ></iframe><br /><small><a href=";source=embed&amp;hl=en &amp;geocode=&amp;q=tahiti&amp;sll= 37.0625,-95.677068&amp;sspn=64.025309,110.30 2734&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=&amp;hnear= Tahiti&amp;ll=-17.65092,-149.426042&amp;spn=0.614289,0.86174 &amp;t=h&amp;z=11" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map</a></small>

The Black mother-of-pearl, through the Pinctada Margaritifera oyster, has always been an important part of the culture and economy of the Polynesian People as they fished for it; providing a considerable source of income.

The cultured pearl industry was born in French Polynesia in the early sixties by the help of the government's Fisheries Service and two Japanese companies's senior Pearl Grafters (1) Nippo Pearl Company and (2) Tayio Gygyo Ltd. that had experience building up the cultured pearl industry in Australia. Among the first pearls that were implanted in the Pinctada Margaritifera by this effort were harvested in 1963. Later efforts included the implantation of nearly 5,000 Pinctada Margaritifera which produced approximately 1,000 pearls. The Tahitian Pearl Industry was born.

Interestingly enough, when the first black pearls were harvested and brought to market, many buyers were in disbelief as they did not trust that the black color was natural. It was not until the gems were brought to New York to GIA's (Gemological Institute of America) Fifth Avenue location that their natural color was authenticated by the lab. Mr. Salvador Assael (A friend of American Pearl's founder Charlie Bakhash) was responsible for initiating this and through his genius brought the gem to the world stage.

Last edited by pearleducation; 07-19-2011 at 05:55 PM.
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