Tahitian black pearls, also called South Sea Pearls get their unique luster from the grayish black nacre of the oyster shell. They are grown in such places as the sea lagoons surrounding such islands as the northern Cook island of Manihiki and Penrhyn for example.
It is a very long process to grow pearls so it must be carefully and skillfully done. An oyster which has been poorly seeded can result in a poor quality or even no pearl after 2 or 3 years work so it is vitally important that the seeding is done correctly first time. Top quality pearl seeders therefore are among some of the highest paid people in the world. Many commanding over a million dollars a year.
Each pearl is created by the seeder placing within the oyster a very tiny amount of crushed freshwater clam with a mantle of oyster flesh from another oyster. The oyster objects to that and then proceeds to coat the irritation with multiple layers of nacre and this is what creates the pearl. The black is obtained from a substance secreted by the oyster during the coating.
Tahitian black pearls are among the most expensive and so should be well looked after.
Washing in warm soapy water and not using any strong detergent or bleach is important. Rinsing well to get any residue out of the crevasses of the setting and then gently drying with a hair drier is the best option.
Always store pearls separate from other jewelry such as gems and diamonds. These can scratch the pearls and ruin the surface luster.
Provided one’s Tahitian black pearls are well looked after they will last for many years and give a great deal of pleasure.