Tahitian Pearl Blues

We had a lot of fun with Tahitian pearls this year. In September we released a huge lot of dark peacock drop strands, something we had never done or been able to do before. The next month was the Connoisseur Sale, but we could have called it the Harvest Strand month given the number of them we made. But I decided to hold something back – something special to release on Cyber Monday – the special Rikitea rounds.

Rikitea is known throughout the Tahitian pearl industry as the source for the best colors of Tahiti. The finest cherries, peacocks and dark blues overwhelmingly come from Rikitea.

Dark Blue Tahitian Strands

Dark Blue Tahitian Strands

We have a total of 51 selected strands that we are going to start adding to the site today and this week. They aren’t going to featured, they’ll just be added to our Round Tahitian Strands page.

What we’ve done though, is add a hidden tag on each of the strands. Starting today, if you search our site for the term Rikitea, you’ll see the strands.

Be sure to watch for the email we send out on Cyber Monday, which will contain a site-wide Pearl Point code which you can use toward any of these strands.

A Rainbow of Rikitea Colors

Tahitian Blues and Cherry

Tahitian Harvest Strands

Two months ago I received the first request for a Tahitian “Harvest” strand. It’s something we’ve been encouraged to make for some time, but there are usually so many different things I “want” to work on and I rarely get to them all.

It was decided by the team that we would make a few of these strands for the September Connoisseur event, so when a request came in for something special in July, I decided to take the reigns personally. Fast-forward two months later and I believe we’ve made a total of 22 strands, and I’ve personally made most of them.

What is trending as a “harvest strand” is a strand of pearls that represents what one would expect to find in a real pearl harvest. When you can appreciate the beauty of one of these strands, it’s even easier to appreciate the effort put in to grow these pearls and match them into graded strands.

Three-row Tahitian pearl harvest strand Sep 11 2014 lp copy

Finding a three-strand clasp that would work for something this massive is not an easy task so we did the only thing we could – make a clasp from scratch. On a good note, however, this gave us the ability to customize it and add an extender so the strand can be worn short or long with all the pearls showing. You probably noticed the space between the strands above as well. This is so when the strand is being worn long, the inner strands don’t overtake the outer and overlap.

Three-row Tahitian harvest

And just for fun, I made one “harvest” strand of freshwater pearls just to see how it would come out. I used a lot of really special keshi, metallics, ripples and even souffle pearls in this one. It was a fun piece.

Freshwater Harvest Strand

I am thinking of hanging up the harvest strand hat for a while, but my good friend Josh Humbert of Kamoka Pearls had a good idea when he was here last month — a vault strand. Now that could get dangerous!

Hisano and I are hopping on a plane to Hong Kong and should be airborne within the hour!

Effecting Change, with Josh Humbert of Kamoka Pearls

Continuing with the video series from the 2014 Pearl-Guide Ruckus in Palos Verdes, here is Josh Humbert of Kamoka Pearls giving a presentation about his life on a Tahitian pearl farm and about effecting change with sustainable pearl farming.

Provoked Baroques: A New Tahitian Pearl on the Horizon

I love Tahitian pearls. More specifically, I love the dark exotic colors of Tahitian pearls – the colors found almost exclusively in smaller size ranges. Large Tahitian pearls are highly valued, but often lack the color and luster of their smaller counterparts because larger pearls most often come from larger, older pearl oysters. As the oyster ages, it begins to lose the ability to produce fine pearl nacre. But what if there were a way to induce small, young pearl oysters into growing larger pearls?
Provoked baroque Tahitian pearlsA company out of Japan by the name of Imai Seikaku has developed a new sort of nucleus that comes in the shape of a small blue pill. This is no ordinary nucleus, but one that is composed of a super-absorbent organic substance which soaks up surrounding liquids and expands. As it expands it begins to “blow out the pearl sac,” as my friend and pearl farmer Josh Humbert of Kamoka Pearls put it. It essentially induces even a small, young pearl oyster to grow a large pearl sac where an equally large nucleus can be placed.
Provoked baroque Tahitian pearl When harvested, the first graft pearl is free-form in shape and filled with liquid substance, which when drained, leaves a hollow Tahitian pearl. Unlike freshwater soufflé pearls from China, hollow pearls can’t be legally exported from Tahiti so they’re discarded. In their place farmers insert large, baroque nuclei. This second graft results in giant bead-nucleated Provoked Baroques that intentionally look indistinguishable from massive keshi pearls except in one way – they have screaming luster and intensely dark colors. They are even better than traditional keshi and much larger than average keshi.

Common keshi compared to this new breed of Tahitian pearl

Common keshi compared to this new breed of Tahitian pearl

The technology is still in its infancy and production to date has been very limited. Most pearl wholesalers have yet to hear about this new type of gem let alone offer them. Josh Humbert is one of the few pearl farmers that has been experimenting with the organic, shape-shifting nuclei and believes that there is potential to use the technology to eventually grow large, colorful round pearls. In the meantime, we get to enjoy a new type of pearl!

A full strand of giant, provoked baroques

A full strand of giant, provoked baroques

What to do with 5,600 peacock drop Tahitian pearls!

If you follow our Facebook page you would have seen the post below where Hisano and I were having fun sorting a peacock drop lot of just over 5,600 pearls. We decided to make strands with them, and they are ready as of today! Pictures are below the Facebook post!

We are planning a big Tahitian pearl promotion in August, so we’ll probably hold off posting them onto the site until then!

Approximately 150 strands of Tahitian pearls
Tahitian pearl close ups
Peacock Drops
More peacock drops