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