Call 703-683-2678 Black Pearls From Tahiti and the Cook Islands
Black Pearls From Tahiti and the Cook Islands
Tahitian black pearls are the only naturally black pearls
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Black Pearl History

A frenchman, Jean-Marie Dormand, who was responsible for marine resources in the area, undertook in-depth research of pearl cultivation and became the father of cultured black pearl farming. In 1961, he arranged through the French Polynesian government to bring a Japanese pearl oyster technician to Tahiti. The first culturing experiments took place in the lagoons of the atoll of Hikueru and Bora Bora, islands of French Polynesia. The harvest of 1965 was successful and produced 1,000 pearls. In 1966, Jacques and Hubert Rosenthal started the first privately owned pearl farm on the atoll of Manihi.

The first export of Tahitian black pearls was in 1972. Less than $4000 worth was shipped. However, by 1996 Tahitian pearl farms were shipping $152 million worth of black pearls.

The mid-1970'd marked the beginning of the rapid growth in the interest of Tahitian black pearls. Large scale farming was begun on the islands of Marutea Sud and Mangareva.

The farm on the island of Mangareva was started by Robert Wan. Wan is now the the largest producer of black pearls, producing over 60%.

The Cook Islands also began building a black pearl farming industry in lagoons of the Northern Cook islands of Manihiki and Penrhyn. In1997, a cyclone struck Manihiki and nearly destroyed the black pearl farming industry. But the pearl farms of Cook Islands have begun the process of reconstruction and are now second in production only to French Polynesia.

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