Getting Cultured Pearls through Tahitian Pearl Farms
Tahitian pearl is one of the organic gems which are cultured in black-lip oysters. If you want to know if the pearl you are purchasing is real or not then you need to ensure that it is from French Polynesia as those are the only real Tahitian pearls. It is really hard to find natural Tahitian pearls as they are so rare in nature. You need to explore thousands of oysters to find a single pearl. Since Tahitian gems are so rare, that makes them more mystical. Tahitian pearls are in huge demand in the jewelry world as now they have become the trendiest jewelry ever. Due to this reason this amazing pearl is now cultivated in Tuamotu’s pearl farms.
Tahitian pearls are cultured through pearl oysters in the lagoons of French Polynesia which are surrounded by coral reefs. Oysters actually live in the salty water of lagoons, and plankton play a significant role in culturing Tahitian pearls. These oysters start producing pearls after a time span of three months, and during that duration they start looking for a surface to which they can attach. At this time farmers set out collectors that provide baby oysters a perfect place to mature and grow. These are actually Tuamotu’s pearl farms. This is the first step in which baby oysters are collected.
Oysters become large enough to produce pearls in about two and a half years. In the grafting step, the role of grafter comes into play. An expert grafter is like a surgeon who uses sterile antibiotics and razor-sharp tools in order to perform grafting. Grafting is a process in which the mantle of the oyster is transplanted to another oyster. Actually the mantle is an important organ of a living oyster that is responsible for producing nacre for which a pearl is valued. So the mantle is going to decide the quality of pearl generated. An oyster is chosen as donor due to the beautiful colours of pearls that it produced before. So by inserting the mantle of that oyster in some other oyster we can get more pearls of the same colour. This is called grafting of oysters and is the second step of Tahitian pearl cultivation.
The next step in grafting is to insert a nucleus into the oyster. The nucleus is a 6- to 8-mm ball around which a pearl grows. In Mississippi, various beads made up of mollusk shell are readily available. These beads have an appropriate density that is necessary for a pearl nucleus so they are used for the culturing process of Tahitian pearls. For this process, an expert grafter inserts these beads into the pearl bag of the mature oyster.
The oysters are tended in the clean water of a lagoon for about two or more years in order to produce a pearl, and these pearls grow to their fullest in these long years. When pearls get mature, then oysters are removed and the pearls are extracted gently. Then another grafting procedure is performed but with a much bigger nuclei whose size is almost the same as that of extracted pearl in order to culture the next set of Tahitian pearls, and when they are also harvested, then a third grafting process takes place. Unfortunately, this results in the decline in quality of pearls with each grafting process. This is the reason why high-quality Tahitian pearl are so rare today.