Pearl: Tahitian

From the islands of French Polynesia comes one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations. Discover the amazing allure and dramatic beauty of black Tahitian pearls.

These glorious dark pearls are grown in the warm, clear waters of French Polynesia by large black-lip oysters called Pinctada Margaritifera. They naturally come in a very attractive variety of colors including black, green, bronze, or dark gray. Few oysters survive to produce a single fine pearl. Tahitian pearls were once the rarest, most valuable cultured pearls in the world. Tahitian pearls are bead-nucleated with thick colorful layers of nacre or mother-of-pearl. The thinnest nacre allowed by French Polynesian law for export is 0.8 mm, which is considered extremely thick. After a pearl is removed from the black lipped oyster, another nucleus can be inserted and another pearl can form. This can only be done 3 to 4 times before the mollusk is spent. Each Tahitian pearl is unique. Sultry dark tones and a breathtaking range of natural color make these rare pearls prized throughout the world. Jewelers and pearl farmers can go through hundreds of pearls to find the perfect pick to create a single Tahitian pearl jewelry piece. Even finding two similar pearls to create a matching pair of earrings can be a daunting task. Pearl is not considered a true mineral due to their organic origins. However, chemically pearls are formed from aragonite or a mixture of aragonite and calcite.

  • Pearls have been celebrated for their healing properties for centuries in Asian cultures. The Chinese have used their beautiful luster to treat everything from acne to serious heart conditions.
  • The Hindu culture associated pearls with the moon, purity and love.
  • The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were raindrops that had fallen into an oyster. When Venus or Aphrodite, the goddess of love was born from the sea on an oyster shell, drops of water that dripped off the goddess became pearls.
  • Pearls are a symbol of love and marriage, and legend has it that wearing pearls during your wedding promotes marital bliss.
  • Pearls are frequently associated with purity, innocence, honesty and love—especially a mother’s love. Pearls have been used by a variety of cultures to help women connect with their feminine energy. Crystal healers have used pearls to combat infertility and ease childbirth.
  • Tahitian black pearls symbolize hope for wounded hearts.
  • In Tahitian legend, the Polynesian god of peace and fertility descended to earth on a rainbow and gave oysters to man as a gift. Once the oyster gave birth to a beautiful black pearl, the god offered it to their princess as a token of his undying love and affection.
  • In 1789, Tahitian pearls became part of one of the most famous stories in maritime history, The Mutiny on the Bounty. Legend has it that Tahitian pearls given to Fletcher Christian by his beloved tribal princess inspired him to lead a mutiny against the HMS Bounty Captain William Bligh. Christian and crew returned to the beauty of Tahiti, and their descendants still live on the island today.


Black-lip pearl oysters are farmed in French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, the Micronesian Islands, and to some extent, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines. Only the dark beauties grown in exotic French Polynesia can truly call themselves Tahitian pearls.

  • Ranks 2.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
  • Colors display black, green, bronze, or dark gray.
  • Sourced from French Polynesia.
  • Member of the pearl family.
  • Also known as black pearl.
  • Birthstone for June.
  • Associated with the zodiac sign of Scorpio.
  • Traditional gift for 12th, 30th, and 80th anniversaries.
  • 100 percent natural stone; no additional treatments.