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The Pearl Necklace

The Pearl Necklace Comes In Many Sizes And Colours

The "classic" piece of pearl jewelry is, of course, the pearl necklace. Akoya pearls are the most traditional type of pearl used in necklaces, but freshwater pearls, Black Tahitian pearls, and large South Sea pearls are also used, often to stunning effect. Akoyas, of course, exhibit the traditional white, silver, or cream colors, while Tahitians and South Sea pearls yield pearl necklaces ranging from bright white to darker tones. Freshwater pearls can be either white or pastel, and are generally more affordable than the saltwater options.

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Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian Pearls – Among The Most Beautiful In The World

Tahitian pearls are produced in the black-lipped oyster ‘Pinctada margaritifera’, in and around Tahiti and the French Polynesian islands. This oyster itself is quite large - sometimes over 12 inches across and weighing as much as 10 pounds - which often results in much larger-than-average pearls. The pearls are unique because of their natural dark colors. Most "black" Tahitian pearls are not actually black, but are instead silver, charcoal, or a multitude of colors with the dominant color being green. Truly black pearls are among the most beautiful pearls in the world, and are extremely rare.

Almost Hunted To Extinction

Not only are the pearls beautiful, but the black-lipped oyster's mother-of-pearl inner shell is also extremely attractive. By the early part of the 20th century, before conservation and repopulation efforts began, the oyster had almost been hunted to extinction for its shell alone.

Tahitian Pearls – Not From Tahiti

Although Tahitian pearls are thought by many to be solely a product of Tahiti, this is in fact not true. Tahiti is the commercial center and trading hub for the bulk of the industry, however Tahiti does not have any pearl farms actually located on the island. The farms are instead scattered throughout French Polynesia, as far east as the Gambier Islands, and beyond French Polynesia to the west into the Micronesian Islands. Australia, the Seychelles and Vietnam have all produced black pearls as well, but those cannot be referred to as Tahitian pearls.

Tahitian Pearl Farming Begins

Tahitian pearl farming has much later commercial origins than its other cultured pearl cousins. In the early 1960's a man by the name of Jean-Marie Domard began experimenting with the ‘Pinctada margaritifera’ using Japanese culturing techniques. In 1962, Mr. Domard successfully nucleated 5,000 oysters, and after 3 years harvested more than 1000 high-quality Tahitian pearls.

South Sea Pearls

South Sea Pearls – Among The Largest In The World

South Sea pearls are among the largest commercially harvested cultured pearls in the world. The average size of a South Sea pearl is 13 mm, with most harvests producing a range of sizes from 9 mm to 20 mm. The South Seas lie between the northern coast of Australia and the southern coast of China. These waters are the native habitat of a large oyster known as Pinctada maxima. This oyster grows up to 12 inches in diameter, and can be nucleated with a much larger bead than other saltwater oysters such as the akoya.

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Scallop Pearls

Scallop Pearls, “The Pacific Lion’s Paw”

Unlike other non-nacreous pearls such as the melo-melo and conch pearl, the scallop pearl comes from a bivalve mollusk know as the "Mano de Leon", or the "The Pacific Lion's Paw". This shellfish garners its name due to the unique shape of its shell, which resembles a lion's paw. Scallop pearls are native to the coastal waters of Central and North America and most commonly found off the coast of Baja California.

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Saltwater Pearls

Traditional Saltwater Pearls

Traditionally, most pearls were gathered from saltwater-dwelling mollusks in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the coastal waters of India and Japan. These saltwater pearls were referred to as marine pearls. Natural saltwater pearls are still found, but the yield is too small to account for any significant market share.

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The Geohavens name is an assurance of timeless beauty, distinct quality and uncompromising value. The Company spares no effort in sourcing from the farthest markets and the deepest mines in order to unearth the most attractive gems.

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