90 pct. of all black pearls are grown in the waters around Tahiti. This is where the natural black pearl gets its mother of pearl from a clam named Pinctado Margaritifera, also called black lip. These pearls are the Tahiti pearls. The colours vary from light grey to silver and black. The black Tahiti pearl is also called ”Queen of the night” and is one of the most exclusive pearls. The finest Tahiti pearls can have up to three layers of color. The most exclusive is the green prime colour with a red/purple shine. This combination of colours is called Peacock.
Other shine colours are pink/rosé, eggplant, creme, blue, gold, bronze and silver – all colours which may appear on the inside of the shell on the Pinctado Margaritifera.
The pearls are cultivated in the 20-30 centimeter oysters named Pinctada Maxima which with its silver coloured or golden lips is used at pearl farms all over the South Sea. Most of the production – the white and almost silver coloured cultured pearls – takes place in Australian waters but also in Indonesia and the Philippines you can find large pearl farms. White and golden South Sea pearls are generally more exclusive than the black.
South Sea cultured pearls from the gold lipped Pinctada Maxima are cultivated primarily in the Philippines, but also in Indonesia, Australia and Myanmar.
Like in Tahiti, Fiji also cultivate their pearls in the oyster Pinctada Margaritifera. In Fiji the pearls are grown in bays along the coastline. Here the water’s flow rate, the concentration of plankton and the waters temperature give a different outcome than in Tahiti. This means that the Fiji pearls have even more different nuances. From yellow-green, to brown and even black as coal. A single pearl farmer has managed to achieve magnificent results in color of pearls from the Pinctada margaritifera cumingii oyster: apple green, intense yellow, blue, golden, bronze brown and a reddish-black(eggplant colours).
In a yearly auction Fiji sells its cultured pearls. Only a few companies are invited to participate and among these is Torben Skov Pearls from Denmark. The average size lies around 10-11.5 mm in diameter.
Keshi pearls are irregularly shaped pearls without a core, made in the soft parts of the clam. Keshi means poppy seed and small particle in Japanese. Even if a clam managed to get rid of an artificial core, sometimes the production of a pearl will begin anyway. The coreless Keshi cultured pearls can become larger than 15 mm in diameter with a great shine and orient. They can be most colours and shapes (both baroque and round.)
There is no physical difference between Keshi and nature pearls besides the very important fact that the production of a Keshi pearl in the clam has been provoked by human interference which can be seen on radiograms. Keshi pearls are cultivated in all types of clams.
Unlike all other kinds of pearls a moon shaped core is inserted in the shell of the oyster instead of in the muscle to create the Mabe pearl. The pearls will therefore get the shape that makes it suitable for mountings.
The pearls will often be white but also appears in light pink or a soft red.
Fresh water pearls are pearls which are created in fresh water. The largest production of fresh water pearls are in rivers in China. In brown, muddy waters at a debt at around 1-1.5 meters, marked by floating robes stretched between green plastic bottles, the clams hang in baskets.
Salt water pearl farms are much more costly to run (equipment, considerations to the environment and monthly pays) than the fresh water farms. This is also reflected in the price. Chinese fresh water cultured pearls are almost half the price of the salt water cultured pearls.