The Birth of Tahitian Pearls
Tahitian pearls are principally cultured in French Polynesia, it's a natural jewel formed from the dark lip clam Pinctada Margaritifera.
As most of you heard, Tahitian pearls usually we think about its origins from Tahiti. However, what we need to know, Pearls are actually cultivated on different islands around French Polynesia, the best would be away from civilizations, in order to farm and harvest the most perfects pearls crop possible. Nevertheless, as Tahiti is the center of all the island of French Polynesia, all thoses pearls need to be screened and follow strict polynesie before making it's way in the international Market.
Pearls take a very long time to grow. They usually develop for 18 months before entering to jewel world. Each day, hundreds of thin pearl layers and aragonite crystals aggregate around the beads. The graft tissue in oysters’ pearl sacs. The orient of pearls and the depth of their radiance depend on this alchemical transmutation.
While the grafters admire the most beautiful South Seas gems, entire, busy teams surround them. From sunrise to sunset, pearl farms echo with the sounds of men and women working, their gloved hands detaching, piercing and cleaning the young shells, pulling “kangaroos”, the nets that hold grafted oysters, out of the water. This is hard, dangerous work that only indigenous people from these islands can do, but it allows them to continue living on the isolated atolls.
The Pearl Oyster
The word “nacre” comes from the Persian word nakkar, which means “shimmering ornament”, and has come to refer to the pearl oyster. The oysters that give birth to Tahitian cultured pearls are among the largest, capable of reaching 30cm diameters and go by the name Pinctada margaritifera, Cumingii variety. Margaritifera is an evocative name, from the Latin margarita, meaning both treasure and pearl. Nacre lived in Polynesian waters since long ago, and man long has coveted the rich bronze glimmer of its shell. Part of the illustrious Pteriidae family, nacre is renowned for the quality of its aragonite mother-of-pearl secretions. Pinctada margaritifera oysters live and die where the currents place them. Young nacres are collected in some Polynesian atolls, under the water’s surface, along with structures colonized by spats.