The South Seas cultured pearls
The South-Sea cultured pearl is seen as the Queen of Pearls and this is in no small way down to its beauty, rarity and size. Whereas Akoya pearls have a diameter of between 9-20mm the South-Sea pearl can reach a diameter of between 9-16mm or even more. They can be found in varying colour hues ranging from light to dark depending on where they are from.
White pearls are found in the area from the Indonesian Arafura Sea through to the Sulu Sea of the Philippines and into the Gulf of Thailand to the Mergui archipelago of Burma. In the more northern reaches the white pearls take on golden or yellowish hues and those found in the more southern, cooler reaches, have a more silvery hue.
The darker group of south-sea cultured pearls, which include the fairy-tale south pacific black pearl, are to be found in the area encompassing the Cook Islands, Tahiti the Tuamoto archipelago and the Gambier islands of French Polynesia.
The dramatic range of hues, their not quite spherical shape and their rarity give rise to the high prices paid throughout the world for these pearls. One south-sea pearl can be worth more than a whole necklace of Akoya pearls.
If you are interested in acquiring one of these beautiful pearls it is best to seek the advice of your specialist jeweller.