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Tahitian Pearl


#1

Hi , In connection with Tahitian Pearls, did anyone notice the
amount of advertising both in stores and TV of Tahitian Pearls
but they are cultured but they are trying to charge the price of
the natural tahitian pearls and it seems to me they are fooling
the public with there deceptive advertising, but with big prices.
Sincerely

Chris
http://www.tace.com/glitters
Antique & Estate Jewelry & Antiques


#2
 Hi , In connection with Tahitian Pearls, did anyone notice
the amount of advertising both in stores and TV of Tahitian
Pearls but they are cultured but they are trying to charge the
price of the natural tahitian pearls and it seems to me they
are fooling the public with there deceptive advertising, but
with big prices. 

What naturals? Try to buy natural tahitian pearls…

Whats on the market are all cultured. And they are indeed that
expensive, even though they are cultured. The process, and the
yields, and production costs are quite different from the chinese
culture products, which are often cheap, or the japanese akoya
cultured pearls, which can be much more than the chinese. All
three types are different processes and different types of
animal and pearl. Prices reflect the demand as well as the
production costs and rarity of the specific quality in question.
What’s deceptive about that?

Peter Rowe


#3

Chris,

How much are you assuming that a “natural” Tahitian pearl would
cost?

Yes, the Tahitian pearls you see are cultured.

A spontaneous (non-cultured) Tahitian pearl is a one in 10,000
occurence. That’s not for a gem quality pearl, that’s for any
pearl at all
.

Even now with pearl farming (pearl culturing), gem quality
pearls are only a fraction of the total yield.

To put this into perspective, for centuries, there was viable
pearlfishing in the Persian Gulf. By contrast, the
black-lipped oyster (Pinctada margaritifera) was fished to an
extent that it was severely endangered, and yet there never any
substantial black pearl- fishing industry. The lifeblood of the
black-lipped oyster diver was the mother of pearl, used for
buttons, inlay, etc. Before pollution and overfishing killed off
the supply of pearls in the Persian gulf, there were enough white
pearls being found to supply the jewel boxes of the U.S. Europe
and the Middle East.

Tahitian pearls are harder to culture than Akoyas. They have to
be grown in isolated areas where all the supplies are shipped or
air-freighted. They can’t be grown in concentration like Akoyas
(i.e. they have less tolerance for crowding).

If you were to compare the prices of fine (“natural”) white
pearls, and spontaneous (“natural”) Tahitian pearls, I think
you’d find the same ratio as you do with cultured whites and
cultured Tahitian.

Kat Tanaka

disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in this message
are my personal opinion and do not necessarily state or reflect
the views of any other party.

kht@vincent-tanaka.com


#4

There is actually nothing natural about black pearls, since the
black color is obtained after introducing with the small plastic
"inclusion" a piece of the black tissue that surrounds the
oyster. It is mostly japanese specialists who have the know how,
and they are quite expensive as they are not numerous. Added to
that is the fact that this is not 100% foolproof (the oyster
dies, or it simply doesnt work) which gives low yields, that the
cost of life in Tahiti is about double that of Europe (there are
no income tax or VAT, but import duties double the price of
goods, and since Tahiti doesnt produce anything major apart from
pearls and vanilla, everything is imported), which is at least
1/3 higher than the US. That does explain the high cost of those
pearls.


#5
There is actually nothing natural about black pearls, since the
black color is obtained after introducing with the small plastic
"inclusion" a piece of the black tissue that surrounds the

Excuse me Pascal, but the color IS natural. It is far more
natural than the color of Akoya (white) pearls, which are
bleached and dyed for uniformity. Tahitian pearls are not dyed.
(Not those from reputable dealers, and certainly not those which
are top quality).

The color of the pearl comes from the color of the oyster. This
is why the South Seas pearls from Australia are light colored.
They come from the silver-lipped (some say white-lipped) oyster,
the Pinctada maxima. The Akoya comes from the Pinctada fucata
martensii, and the Tahitian comes from the “black-lipped” oyster,
Pinctada margaritifera. In each case, a small piece of donor
mantle tissue starts the nacre production process, and influences
the color.

There is NO plastic in Tahitian pearls (again, of reputable
quality I have no idea what someone might try) The nucleus is
the same as in cultured Akoyas, a sphere of shell.

The culturing process of Tahitian pearls is identical to the
Japanese process, aside from special considerations due to the
different species of oyster.

My apologies if I’ve misunderstood your message.

Kat
kht@vincent-tanaka.com


#6
Excuse me Pascal, but the color *IS* natural. 

(snip)

There is a very good article on PEARLS in the National
Geographic August 1985 issue. It inculdes an excellent section
with color photos on black pearl culture. I also recall having
watched that NG story on PBS TV channel.

Kelvin Mok (klmok@shaw.wave.ca)

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