Tips on Choosing Tahitian Pearl Necklaces
Tahitian pearls are named after the island of Tahiti and they are highly prized for their beauty and the unique charm of their darker tones, thanks to the island’s black Eagle and Pearl Jewelers -lipped oysters that produce black, gray and green-black pearls. Recognizing their value, pearl farmers used the pearl culturing techniques pioneered by the Japanese to cultivate Tahitian pearls. Since then, Tahitian pearls have become one of the most sought-after gems in the world.
Factors to consider when choosing quality Tahitian pearl necklaces, in order of importance:
Nacre thickness – ideally, the minimum thickness of nacre in Tahitian pearls is 0.8 mm. A thicker nacre covering means that the pearl’s luster will last long. Thinner nacres have a tendency to wear off easily. Tahitian pearls which are thinner than the required minimum are not exported from French Polynesia.
Surface texture and quality – Tahitian pearls, like all pearls, are graded according to the quality of its surface. Pearls could have thick nacres but if the surface is flawed, their value decreases. Flaws include bumps, spots, discolorations, scratches and other irregularities. The more a pearl has, the less valuable or lower-grade it becomes.
To rate the quality of Tahitian pearls, jewelers use a grading system, consisting of A, B, C and D as the marks, with A-grade pearls being the highest quality. A-grade pearls have the cleanest, nearly flawless surface, virtually free of spots, discoloration or bumps. These pearls have a high luster and reflective quality.
B-grade Tahitian pearls have slightly (but still imperceptible) imperfect surfaces, with only 30% of the surface affected by flaws. C-grade Tahitian pearls have medium luster and imperfections are already quite perceptible while D-grade pearls are those with 60% of its surface affected by quite obvious imperfections, including scratches.
Luster – one quality of pearls that sets it apart from other gemstones is its uni