Why Tahitian Pearls Are So Rare

April 29, 2014 by Melissa

It’s interesting that a gem known around the world for it’s incredible shine and distinctive white color would also be known for having so many variants that have incredibly diverse color schemes. One of the most popular ‘new’ types of pearl jewelry available today comes from French Polynesia. Tahitian pearls are known for their incredibly dark, exotic colors, but how do they get that way in the first place?

An oyster with Tahitian Pearls.
Via Papeete

It’s All About The Oyster

Unlike other gems, pearls are naturally occurring, forming after months of growth within a oyster. Tahitian pearls are found off of the waters of French Polynesia, in oysters that have a distinctive dark-colored interior. This interior is what is used to form the pearl, lending the dark color and illustrious shine to these exotic gems.

Bigger Does Not Always Mean Stronger

What is different about these oysters is that they are much larger than traditional oysters, meaning that Tahitian pearls can be grown larger. While this is true in theory, in practice it is much more difficult to cultivate pearls in these oysters.

While you might be able to cultivate dozens of pearls from a freshwater oyster every year, saltwater oysters can only cultivate one or two pearls per year at best. The oysters found in French Polynesia are even more finicky, meaning that each Tahitian pearl is even more valuable due to its rarity in cultivation.

Tahitian pearl jewelry makes a stunning gift and is something that can dramatically enhance any jewelry collection, even that of a pearl connoisseur. Finding the right pearl jewelry for a friend or loved one can be difficult, but the rarity and exotic nature of Tahitian pearls means that any choice you make will be something that they will treasure forever. While a Tahitian pearl necklace will really make a statement, pearl earrings are just as beautiful and are a great choice for daily use in the workplace.