Birth of The Pearl
The first experimental pearls were harvested in 1964.
In the following years, the lab experiment blossomed into an industry, then a business, finally a success.
Coming from some of the most beautiful lagoons in the world, produced in an oyster with the help of man, the black pearl of Tahiti was to become a unique luxury item, precious and fragile, receiving lots of attention for the most beautiful adornments.
Then the story unfolded, slowly, following the rhythm of conquests, markets, production, laws and decrees.
Yet among sea pearls and fresh water pearls, white pearls, black or gold, real or fake, fine and culture pearls, would it be still possible to single out this black pearl of Tahiti? In Japan, after several years of fierce negotiations, the label “culture pearl” or “cultivated pearl” was finally adopted in 1924 by the producers, lawmakers, pearl traders and jewel makers.
The fine pearl is due to chance. The cultured pearl is a man-made creation.
In the former case, the grain of sand or the tiny living organism becomes the heart of the pearl, whereas in the later, a nucleus and a graft are inserted by man.
However, for fine pearls as well as culture ones, the fabrication process remains the same. Also, aside from the human intervention, the pearl remains the production of the oyster.
This very well may be, but it needed to be made official. That is why the pearl of Tahiti received a legal status by decree and was from then on considered as “a natural culture pearl produced by grafting and farming…,”
“Natural” being the key word. Indeed, the oyster is aided by man, but the pearl is not produced by him. There was not going to be any artificial material in our lagoons!
That is why, even if it is not a “fine” pearl, the pearl of Tahiti has been farmed, while remaining a natural product.
Little by little, the cultured became cultural.
And if Tahiti created the pearl that bears its name, today’s pearl seems to give a sense of purpose to our lagoons and for the next fifty years!