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We are located in California, US. All our jewelry designers and stores are located in Beijing. So all the items will be shipped from there. We received payments through both electronic and traditional payment likes paypal or checks. Paypal is one of the most reliable payment available online. Customers could make payment without having any paypal account.

All our pearls have Certificate of Gem Identification, approved by The Chamber of Jewelry of All - China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

We have direct partnership with major pearl farms in South East Asia which are also major suppliers for major websites who sell pearls.

All About Pearls

Black Tahitian pearls are produced by the black-lipped oyster (Pinctada margaritifera) in the islands of French Polynesia. The oyster itself is quite large -- sometimes up to 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 gray, silver, charcoal, or similar shades. Truly black pearls are extremely rare.

The black-lipped oyster's mother-of-pearl inner shell is also extremely attractive. Indeed, 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.

Although Tahitian pearls are thought my many to be 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 located on the island. The farms are instead scatted throughout French Polynesia, as far east as the Gambier Islands, and beyond French Polynesia to the west into the Micronesian Islands.

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 5000 oysters, and after 3 years harvested more than 1000 high-quality Tahitian pearls.

In an attempt to capitalize on this success, two bothers from the Manihi Atoll founded French Polynesia first Tahitian pearl farm just a year after Mr. Domard's harvest. The started with the easier-to-cultivate mabe pearls for the first two years, and then switched entirely to spherical cultured pearls in 1968.

Bringing Tahitian Pearls to the World Market

South Sea pearls are among the largest commercially harvested cultured pearls in the world. The average size of a South Sea pearl is 13mm, with most harvests producing a range of sizes from 9mm up to 20mm.

The South Seas lie between the northern coast of Australia and the southern coast of China. These waters are the native habitat of the large oyster, the 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.

There are two varieties of Pinctada maxima: the silver-lipped and the gold-lipped. The two are distinguished by the coloration of the outer edge of the interior. This shell is also known as mother-of-pearl, and is responsible for the coloration of the cultured pearls produced.

Unlike the Akoya oyster, the South Sea oyster will only accept one nucleation at a time. The oyster is nucleated when it is only about half developed, from 4.7 inches to 6.7 inches in size, or about 24 months old. Although the South Sea oyster will only handle one nucleus at a time, this oyster (like the tahitian pearl producing Pinctada margaritifera) can be nucleated up to three times over the course of many years.

There are four reasons South Sea pearls can grow to such large sizes dwarfing many of their other saltwater pearl counterparts. The reasons consist of: the large size of the Pinctada maxima, the size of the implanted bead, the length of time the pearl is left to grow in the oyster, and the oysters environment. Due to the size of the oyster it is able to accept a large bead. The gonad of the Pinctada maxima is several times larger than that of the Akoya. Because of this same reason the South Sea oyster deposits nacre around the nucleus at a much quicker rate, especially in warm water which speeds the oysters metabolism. The South Seas are also extremely clean, and filled with plankton the Pinctada maximas favorite food source. The clean waters and abundant food supply also speeds the nacre production. The growth period for South Sea pearls is also substantially longer than that of the Akoya. Akoya pearls are harvested after only 9-16 months, where as South Sea pearls are harvested after at least 2 years.

South Sea pearls have several distinct characteristics that are unique to this gem. The nacre is unusually thick, ranging from 2-6mm compared to the .35-.7mm of an Akoya pearl. South Sea pearls also have a unique, satiny luster that comes from the rapidly deposited nacre and warm waters of the South Seas. South Sea pearls also have a subtle array of colors, typically white, silver, and golden, that are rare in other pearl types.
Last Updated: 8 Mar 2007 13:32:13 PST home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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