Are All Tahitian Pearls Black? and Other Pearl FAQ Answers

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Are All Tahitian Pearls Black? and Other Pearl FAQ Answers

Are all Tahitian pearls black? Whats the difference between a cultured pearl and a natural pearl? Are freshwater pearls inferior to saltwater pearls? Are South Sea pearls really golden?

Good questions. With all the different pearl colors and types out there, it can be difficult to know just what youre looking at. For those interested in buying pearls, or for gem enthusiasts who wish to learn more, here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about pearls.

Are All Tahitian Pearls Black?
Not only are Tahitian cultured pearls not exclusively black, theyre also not grown in Tahiti. Called black because of their exotic dark colors, Tahitian cultured pearls can also be gray, blue, green and brown. And theyre grown in the lagoons of small islands that are part of a group known as French Polynesia. Tahiti, the largest island, serves as the groups center of commerce, and not as a pearl growing mecca.

Tahitian pearls are cultivated for about two years in Pinctada margaritifera cumingi, a large mollusk native to French Polynesia. One of the ways this unique oyster differs...

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