I have found a new way to look at black pearls courtesy of last month's article by Paul Rush in the New Zealand Herald. In his article, Paul talks about Fijian black pearls and let me tell you, they are not black! As you know, I am a huge fan of Tahitian black pearls and I work with a farm in French Polynesia to source black pearls for The Pearl Girls. in fact, here I am with one of these beauties on:
Gorgeous, right?! I love these pearls and their extremely varied colors of blues and greens and mauves. I love to say that black pearls are not really black. Right? They have layers of interesting colors. Read more about The Wonderful Colors of Black Pearls.
But I was amazed to discover that these are also "Black Pearls."[caption id="attachment_8883" align="aligncenter" width="355"] © J. Hunter Pearls Fiji[/caption]
Now those awesome amazing colors!
There has been a fairly large and active pearl farm operating on Vanua Levu, one of Fiji's two largest islands (the other one being Viti Levu) since 2000. This farm is located on Savusavu Bay and was started by a Fijian-American man who took his expertise in marine sciences and experience in aquaculture and started a pearl farm.
The reason the article on J. Hunter's pearls caught my eye is because the author was speaking about these black pearls and how they have such a golden hue. I thought he must be confused. Sure, golden pearls are grown in the South Pacific (in the gold lipped oyster) and we know black pearls are grown in the black lipped oyster but golden black pearls? I had never heard of such! But this Fijian pearl farm offers us a new way to look at black pearls! They are golden and green along with the more typical chocolate, dark mauve and more. They come from the black lipped oyster, (specifically Pinctada Mangifera) but what a difference in the pearls we get from French Polynesia!
Author Paul Rush even admits, "I'm spellbound by the colour range of the so-called black pearls. The glossy, reflective surfaces clearly show brilliant hues of blue, green, champagne, copper and the rare, precious burnished gold. These pastel pearls are found nowhere else in the world." And now I suddenly have another destination to add to my "pearl" bucket list! And now, let's drool over this strand of keshi pearls:[caption id="attachment_8884" align="aligncenter" width="355"] © J Hunter Pearls Fiji[/caption]
I say kudos to Justin Hunter! He seems to have definitely fulfilled his dream of "creating some of the most unique coloured pearls found in the world today." I can't wait to see the operation (and the pearls!) in person one day!!
For those of you still curious, to produce their special gold-coloured pearls, they look for a tissue donor that has a gold mantle around the outer edge of the shell and use that tissue to nucleate the oysters!