South Sea vs Tahitian Pearls
Produced in low volume and known as black pearls, they are highly valued because of their rarity; so much so that it has the honored distinction of being the only “naturally black” pearl found in existence. In common with most sea pearls, the oyster can only be nucleated with one pearl at a time. Tahitian pearls are famous around the world for their enormous size, rainbow-shaming range of colors, amazing radiance and lustre and for the fact that they are among the most complex pearls to come by.
They are also acclaimed for:
- having no or a very small number of natural blemishes and imperfections on their surfaces.
- possessing a wide color range from shimmering silver to the deepest black and every possible hue of green, blue and purple amongst others in between.
- its commanding size. Being bigger may not necessarily be better, but in the case of pearls, it is definitely rarer and therefore more valuable.
- Tahitian pearls are currently some of the largest pearls.
- that exhilarating, lustrous, sparkling brilliance that naturally gives a pearl its charm and is one of the key determining factors in valuing a pearl.
- its nacre - also known as the Mother of Pearl. It is that optical sensation that is truly a mesmerising light show that creates that gorgeous, multicolored radiance that seems to originate from the very depth of the pearl.
- ease of matchings, which is a true jeweller’s dream. Like our thumbprints, no two natural pearls are the same and matching them is difficult. However, Tahitian pearls can be easily and seamlessly matched together with one another to produce a visually balanced and pleasing visual and artistic effect.
Not all pearls are the same. Science is the easier bit but the art of producing beautiful pearls takes decades of experience, toil, patience and determination. Before we leave this section on South Sea pearls, perhaps it will be worth learning about the Marutea pearls produced by Robert Wan and finding out why it is highly revered and sought by many.
|Characteristic||South Sea Pearls (Pinctada Maxima)||Marutea Pearls By Robert Wan (Pinctada margaritifera)|
|Size||Among the largest diameter ranging from 8-22mm with an average of 15mm||Ranges from 3 to 20 millimeters. The average diameter of a Tahitian pearl is about 13 millimeters,|
|Luster||Unique silky, satiny luster quality due to thick nacre||Displayed in a variety of intensities and shades largely due to the thick, strong nacre coating|
|Color||Wide range of colors and iridescencefrom white (Australia), gold (Philippines and Indonesia), silver and pink||Mainly black which is much rarer than white pearlsVery often vibrant. Possess a breathtaking overtone and a shimmering orient. The most exotic of all cultured pearls; well-known around the world for their display of vibrant and almost metallic colors and luminescence; not found in other pearls|
|Shape & Surface||Likely to be flawed due to the long development period.||May also have natural flaws due to long cultivation period (not necessarily a bad thing)|