Tribute to a Several Thousand-Year-Old Story

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The Unique Origin of Pearls

The pearl is the only recognized gem that comes from a living organism, an unusual mollusk named Pinctada Margaritifera (Cumingi species), unique to French Polynesia’s lagoons. Harvesting a pearl is the accomplishment of a completely natural process, but the pearl is also the only gem that humans can reproduce without changing its classification. Despite human intervention, the cultured pearl does not belong to synthetic gems. The only intervention humans can make is to recreate the perfect conditions for producing pearls, which involves layers of pure mother of pearl covering the nucleus. Thanks to human perseverance, this miracle results in a naturally cultured gem (originally, a fine pearl is a simple protection created by the oyster against any external body).

Step by step, Robert Wan’s entire life has been linked to this miracle from French Polynesia’s lagoons. He has always been close to the pearl culture, following every decisive step from the young oyster’s harvest to the grafting, including the cultivation of the oysters and caring for grafted oysters.

Robert Wan invites you to discover this incredible story in a museum that remains unique in the world. The Pearl Museum, inaugurated in 1998, is located by the seaside of Papeete, Tahiti island. The museum recounts the complete and didactic story of pearls around the world and through different cultures and civilizations. A large part is, of course, dedicated to the Tahitian cultured Pearl and its development in French Polynesia. There, you may admire the most stunning gems, including the biggest round pearl of Tahiti, AAA quality, measuring 22.5 mm in diameter and weighing 16.1 grams!

This exclusive place in French Polynesia was created by a pearl lover in tribute to this gem born to seduce women.


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