Yes, there is an official classification specific to the Tahitian Pearl in accordance with the regulations in force in French Polynesia. All SIBANI Joaillier stores issue a certificate from the BEEP for each purchase of a “pearl(s) jewel” or a loose pearl. This private laboratory guarantees the origin and authenticity of the pearls and jewels. according to classification criteria in accordance with government deliberation (No. 2001-88 APF).
The Pearl Expertise and Evaluation Office (BEEP) is a private laboratory that guarantees the strict control of each pearl sold in accredited jewelers. The BEEP issues a certificate of origin and authenticity recognized worldwide to pearl farming professionals and customers wishing to acquire a pearl or a piece of Tahitian pearl jewelry.
It is a question of guaranteeing the origin of the pearl according to the criteria of classification in conformity with the governmental deliberation (N° 2001-88 APF) and to determine the commercial value of the pearls and jewels at the various levels and stages of their marketing.
PLEASE NOTE: Some so-called Tahitian pearls from Asia undergo treatment in order to remove certain surface imperfections and modify their colors. These pearls cannot be considered genuine Tahitian pearls.
The pearl is made up of Aragonite crystals linked by an organic substance, Conchioline, which contains water. It is therefore necessary for it to hydrate itself so that it does not crack. In contact with the acidity of the skin or detergents, the pearl can tarnish. It is for these reasons that it can be considered a living organism, and that it must be taken care of.
The Tahitian Pearls sold in SIBANI Joaillier boutiques and jewelers accredited by the BEEP have been subjected to X-rays in order to determine the thickness of the pearly layer. The legislation applicable in French Polynesia imposes a layer of mother-of-pearl 0.8 mm thick since 2002. That is thousands of successive layers, in order to perfectly cover the nucleus.
It should be noted that this regulation is not mandatory for pearls sold on the local market. Generally, no guarantee is given in non-accredited shops.
However, dsince 2017, them producers of products pearls have
the obligation to present their productions to the quality control unit (CCQP) of the DRM for registration (post-production control).
The difference in price between each variety of pearl is generally explained by two main criteria:
– the number of nuclei or pieces of mantle (graft) implanted in the mother-of-pearl
– the average cultivation time
Thus, Akoya pearls of Japanese and Chinese origin are often less expensive than Tahitian pearls, because the number of nuclei within a shell can amount to five for an incubation time two to three times lower.
To preserve its beauty once removed from its pearl setting, the Tahitian cultured pearl requires special attention. It rehydrates on contact with the skin, so wearing it often is essential. On the contrary, any acid aggression can be fatal to it, vinegar, chlorine, perfume or hairspray… It should also be wiped regularly with a soft cloth.
Yes, the "Pinctada Margaritifera" produces pearls called "Keishi", its foreign body can be composed of a stone or a piece of coral or, quite simply, a graft which would have remained in the oyster during the graft while the nucleus has been ejected. “Poe Pipi” are also produced by the mother-of-pearl “Pictada Maculata”, they are very small and usually golden yellow in color.
Yes, 'Pinctada Margaritifera' is grown in other areas of the South Pacific, such as Fiji, Vanuatu, and the Cook Islands. Only the latter has pearl production by grafting, but its production remains marginal compared to Polynesian production.
No, research is underway to improve the quality of future productions.
French Polynesia is by far the leading producer of “South Sea” Black Pearls (that is to say from the culture of Pinctada Margaritifera) with more than 90% of world production. Reported to all pearl production, all varieties combined, this represents 25% of the world pearl market.
Pearl farming is an emblematic industry in French Polynesia. With 60 % of export earnings, it is the country's second-largest resource after tourism.
The list of main purchasing countries is as follows: Japan, Hong Kong and the United States.
The Pearl of Allah, found in 1934, remains the largest pearl in the world. She weighed 7 kilos and measured 22.5 cm by 12.5 cm.