About Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian Pearls Aren't Grown In Tahiti

Tahitian pearls are grown in the tropical lagoons around the atolls of French Polynesia, often by small families or communities. After harvesting the pearls, they send them to Tahiti for processing and export. In Tahiti, testers evaluate the pearls for their nacre thickness, which must be at least 0.8mm to qualify for export. As a result, Tahiti functions as a trading post for the small islands, and only pearls produced on these islands are known as Tahitian pearls.

Price of Tahitian Pearls

The cost of these magnificent beauties can range from $700 to a five-figure price for a necklace. As with other types of pearls, the value is determined by factors such as quality and other characteristics of the pearl.

Iridescent Colours


The colour of all pearls is determined by the shell in which they grow. The black-lipped oyster Pinctada Magaritifera produces the Tahitian pearl and is cultured in warm seawater. This saltwater mollusc can produce a range of lustrous dark and light shades of pearls, including light cream to brown, aubergine, pistachio, silvery blue, grey, and the rare peacock green pearl. While it is relatively easy to find colour-matched pearls for a pair of earrings, it is extremely difficult to find a strand of pearls that are all the same colour.

Average Sizes


Pinctada Magaritifera, also known as the black-lipped oyster, is a species of large pearl oyster that is similar to silver and yellow-lipped oysters. These oysters are native to warm seawater and can grow to the size of a hand.

The size of the oyster affects the size of the pearl that can be cultured, as the bead or nucleus used in the pearl cultivation process must be placed inside the oyster. On average, Tahitian pearls range in size from 8 to 13mm, but in rare cases they can be larger than 17mm.

Water temperature affects the growth of pearls, with warm tropical waters stimulating faster nacre production in black-lipped oysters. This leads to thicker nacre layers in these pearls, resulting in larger pearls.

Beautiful Shapes


Tahitian pearls are known for their unique and varied shapes, which make them particularly popular with jewellery designers. Some common shapes of Tahitian pearls include drops, semicircles, buttons, baroque shapes, and round or near round shapes.

While you can easily find a single pearl with a specific shape for use in a jewellery setting, it can be more challenging to find a strand of pearls with the same shape. This is because the shape of the resulting pearl depends on the size and shape of the nucleus used for cultivation as well as the particular characteristics of the oyster.

Learn More About Pearl Types

If you would like to know more about the diverse world of pearls, you can also learn about different types of pearls; such as Akoya pearls, South Sea pearls, and freshwater pearls. No matter which type of pearl interests you, you can discover and appreciate the beauty of pearls in the diverse world of pearls.

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