Did you know that cultured black pearls, or Tahitian pearls, are rarely black? These tropical jewels come in a range of colors; black, blue, green, brown, gray and any shade in between. They are even more colorful reflected in light thanks to having at least one overtone color.
Are you ready to step into the colorful dark side of pearls? Let us guide you through buying the right black pearl jewelry for you. As usual, when you want to find out how to buy precious & semi precious stones jewelry, you have us. Read on to learn all you need to know about black pearls.
What Makes Tahitian Pearls Black?
Tahitian pearls are grown inside Pinctada Margaritifera oysters by the islands of French Polynesia. These oysters are different from other oysters used for saltwater pearls. The Tahitian black-lipped oyster has a black lining along its edge. This is what gives the pearls its darker color.
How dark the pearl is depends on how close to the black lining it grows. This is why a true black pearl is very rare. Most ‘black pearls’ are somewhere on the color spectrum approaching black.
Different Colors of Tahitian Pearls
When looking at the color of the pearl, look at both the body color and the color overtone. The body color refers to the basic body color. The color overtone is the colors that appear from playing with light.
Here is a quick list of the professional names for color overtones.
- Peacock – green black
- Pistachio – green gray
- Aubergine – purple black
- Lavender – blue gray
- Champagne – yellow gray
- Tahitian gold – gold black
- Moon gray – light gray
- Pigeon gray – purple gray
- Silver – gray
Tahitian Grading System for Pearls
There is no strict global guideline for rating pearls but there are two main grading systems. The US uses the AAA-A grading system and the Tahitians the A-D grading system.
Black pearls are graded using the Tahitian A-D grading system. Grade A black pearls are the most valuable. The value goes down the alphabet until D, the lowest accepted grade for Tahitian pearls. Black pearls that cannot meet the grade D requirements are rejected.
The grade refers to the quality of the pearl’s surface. It looks at the luster of the pearl and how many blemishes are on the surface. A grade A black pearl has the best luster and less than 10% of its surface has inclusions. As you move down the grades, the percentage of inclusions increases and the luster is less brilliant. A grade D black pearl has the least luster and inclusions on up to 66% of its surface.
Black Pearl Size
Tahitian pearls are the largest naturally cultivated saltwater pearls. Their average diameter is around twelve millimetres. The smallest accepted black pearl size is nine millimetres. A diameter of fourteen millimetres or more is very large and is rare to find.
Aside from the total diameter of the pearl, the nacre radius to the nucleus is also measured. The nucleus is the material that the nacre, or the shiny surface, of the pearl grows around. According to the Tahitian grading system, the nacre must be a minimum of 0.8 mm. Less than 0.8 mm is not sold because the pearl is of low quality and wears easily.
Shape of Black Pearls
These dark saltwater pearls can come in any shape. The diameter and axis of rotation is also used in determining the pearl shape. Below is an overview of each shape.
A perfectly round pearl is extremely rare. A pearl that has less than 2% variety in its diameter receives the round pearl label. There is a clear axis of rotation.
Semi-round pearls: are slightly more varied than round pearls. The diameter is allowed a difference of up to 5% with still a clear axis of rotation.
They come in any shape or form. There is no axis of rotation.
Semi-baroque pearls have four subcategories, the drop-shaped pearl, pear-shaped pearl, oval pearl and button pearl. Each type needs to have an axis of rotation.
Circle pearl/ringed pearl
This name comes from the many layers of rings around the axis of rotation. Ringed black pearls are more colorful thanks to these ripples. Jewelers like to inlay the rings with metals or gemstones to create more intricate designs.
Necklaces and bracelets that are a string of pearls are usually made of round or semi-round pearls. The imperfections are carefully hidden by drilling the hole in a strategic place.
Semi-baroque pearls are popular for earrings because it is still easy enough to find two matching pearls. Semi-baroque pearls are also popular as a pendant.
Recently, baroque pearls are becoming trendier. Bold shapes are hot in jewelry right now and so are pearls with a modern twist. Baroque black pearls fit this description perfectly.
If you enjoyed finding out more about black pearls, continue on this blog. We publish daily articles with lots of high-quality information about jewelry, from buying guides to maintenance tips and, of course, styling advice. If you are in the mood for freshening up your jewelry collection with a new fabulous pearl design, visit Ana Luisa online jewelry shop. Check out our unique pearl jewelry collections and discover fabulous designs that you won’t find elsewhere.
Others interesting posts about this topic :
- Where to Find the Best Jewelry Sale?
- Our Favorite Freshwater Pearls Jewelry by Ana Luisa
- How to Buy Agate Jewelry
- How to Check the Diamond Quality
- Top 6 Essential Jewelry Pieces for Any Woman
- Discover Our Top Picks for Capricorn Jewelry
- Sagittarius Jewelry Pieces That You Can’t Wait to Try On
- Scorpio Jewelry Pieces that We Love
- Focus on Leo Jewelry – What Are the Right Pieces for You?
- Best Cancer Jewelry Pieces That You Need to Have
- Taurus Jewelry – Which Pieces Define Your Style?
- Aries Jewelry – Discover the Designs that Represent Your Astrological Sign
- Top Pisces Jewelry Designs that You Will Love
- Focus on Aquarius Jewelry – What Should You Get?
- Trending this Season: Zodiac Jewelry
- Trending 14k Gold Jewelry This Season
- Travel Jewelry – The Best Travel Inspired Designs
- Mothers Day Gift Ideas This Year
- Top Ideas for Mothers Day Jewelry
- Our Top Favorite Pink Gemstones
- Freshwater Pearls vs. The Saltwater Varieties
- What Jewelry to Offer as a Valentines Day Gift
- Ana Luisa’s Most Popular Jewelry
- Our Top Picks for January Jewelry
- What Is Coin Jewelry?
- Valentines Jewelry: Top Gift Ideas
- Most Important Jewelry Trends this Year
- What Gemstone Jewelry Should Your Wear in 2019?
- Jewelry Gift Boxes Ideas for Christmas
- What Makes a Good Jewelry Gift Box?
- How to Find Jewelry Coupon Codes: Mejuri Coupon Code & Others
- Ana Luisa’s Top of the Best Colorless & White Gemstones
- Top Fabulous Red Gemstones
- Everything You Need to Know about Gold Vermeil Jewelry
- Tourmaline Jewelry Buying Guide
- What is ethnic jewelry?
- Topaz Jewelry Buying Guide
- Our Favorite Simple Jewelry Pieces Any Woman Should Have
- How to Buy Lapis Lazuli Jewelry
- Which Are the Best Jewelry Metals for Your Style?
- 14k Gold VS 18k Gold – Which Should You Get?
- Timeless Jewelry Pieces That You Need to Have
- What Is Hypoallergenic Jewelry?
- Top Interesting Cultural Jewelry Pieces
- Garnet Jewelry Buying Guide
- What Is the Winter Jewelry You Need to Have This Season?
- How to Buy Rose Quartz Jewelry
- 5 Reason Why a Jewelry Gift Card is a Great Idea
- How to Buy Malachite Jewelry
- Top Tips When You Buy Jewelry Online
- Top Christmas Jewelry Present Ideas
- What To Avoid When Buying Black Friday Jewelry?
- Birthday Jewelry Guide
- How To Start Your Jewelry Collection
- How To Pick Personalized Jewelry
- How To Buy Opal Jewelry
- Everything You Need To Know About Rhodium Plating
- White Gold Jewelry, Rose Gold and Yellow Gold – Which One Is Right for You?
- What Is Ancient Greek Jewelry and How to Buy It?
- What Is Byzantine Jewelry and Why Should You Have Some?
- How many gold colors are there?
- How to buy freshwater pearls
- How to buy Akoya pearls
- How to buy South Sea Pearls
- How to buy Tahitian Pearls
- What to look for when choosing a jewelry box
- What are chocolate diamonds?
- How to buy Moonstone jewelry
- How to buy jade jewelry
- How to spot fake pearls
- What to do if you have a nickel allergy?
- What is Inlay Jewelry?
- Should you buy 10k gold jewelry?
- Top tips when buying amethyst jewelry
- What are the different diamond cuts?
- Top 10 gems used for semi precious stones jewelry
- What is estate jewelry?
- What is art deco jewelry?
- How can you tell if your antique jewelry is worth a lot?
- 7 of the World’s Rarest Gemstones & their value
- Enamel jewelry buying guide
- Discover the most expensive gems in the world
- Top Mom Jewelry Gift Ideas
- Zircon vs cubic zirconia – What is the difference?
- Metal Rings Buying Guide
- White Gold vs Platinum – Do You Know the Difference?
- Silver vs Sterling Silver – What is the difference?
- Rose Gold Jewelry Buying Guide
- Gold dipped jewelry – The difference between vermeil & gold plating
- Gold Plated vs Gold Filled Jewelry: What Is the Difference?
- What you should know about gold plated jewelry