"Where do black pearls come from?" I get asked this a lot and I am feeling like it is a great day to talk about black pearls. Not only because it is, you know, Thursday but mainly because we just got some pearls from our farm in French Polynesia and I am SERIOUSLY wanting a strand for myself. They are so amazingly beautiful!! See...
I could gobble them up! Anyway, as I mentioned, these beauties come from French Polynesia. And you have probably heard me rant and rave about French Polynesia before because it is, you know, paradise. But, in the category of "Where do black pearls come from?", today I really want to talk about other great black pearl destinations. Let's look at the map!
So, French Polynesia is the biggest producer of the black pearl and the name we most associate with black pearls. Tahitian black pearls are named for the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia. Surprisingly, the island of Tahiti does not have a black pearl farm. Pearls are better suited for the remote atolls in French Polynesia. Naturally, with the success of the Tahitian black pearl, other countries that serve as natural habitats for the P . Margaritifera mollusk have tried their hands at culturing black pearls. The Cook Islands are probably the most well known "other" destination for black pearls and Fiji comes in as a close second. Some farms were also attempted in the Marshall Islands as recent as 2012 and I will read up on their progress.
I also heard a rumor that back pearls were being cultured in The Philippines. Although it might be true, I did not discover any black pearls while traveling to pearl farms there in March. I believe their market is better suited for golden south sea pearls.
I am going to look closely into the production of these locations outside of French Polynesia and report back!