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Tahitian Pearl

Chemin de la Perle © (Way of the Pearl)

Here below is a sum up of the long way from the pearl oyster to the pearl, to the pieces of jewellery. To obtain a cultured pearl, we must count about 5 to 7 years before tasting it with a jewel.

Birth of the pearl oyster

  • Fully grown oysters living fixed to coral
  • Emission of eggs and sperm cells
  • Fertilization of the eggs
  • Growth of plankton larvae in the lagoon
  • Fixing of the surviving larvae
  • Metamorphosis into a spat

Collection of the spat

  • Collection station in the lagoon
  • Season for the collection
  • Influence of hydrodynamics in the lagoon
  • Collectors for young spats

Pearl oysters farming

  • Withdrawal of the collection stations between 12 and 18 months
  • Spat removal
  • Farming with strings, strands or baskets
  • Sorting and cleaning every 6 months
  • Preparation for the grafting

Grafting

  • Nacre is ready for grafting when it’s between 24 and 48 months old
  • Nacre removal and arrival of nacre ready for grafting
  • Cleaning and pre-opening of the oysters
  • Preparation of the graft for the grafting
  • Grafting
  • Back into the water, inside retention baskets

Monitoring

  • After 45 days, nacre back onto the ground
  • Monitoring of nucleus transplant rejections
  • Drilling of the nacre, setting the nacre up in strings with pearls

Pearl farming

  • Pearl growth for 18 to 24 months
  • Scheduled cleaning of oysters every 2 or 3 months
  • Lines’ upkeep with divers and rubber rings

Pearl harvest

  • Same cycle as for the grafting
  • Meticulous extraction of the pearl without killing oysters
  • Second graft for about 30 percent of the nacre

Sorting and classification

  • Cleaning of the pearls with a drum and a spinner
  • Sorting of the pearls by shape and quality
  • Classification

Valuation

  • Selection of the pearls
  • Setting of the jewels
  • Exhibition
chemin-de-la-perle-de-tahiti

Tahitian Pearl