I am going to French Polynesia for the very first time in February 2019 for a cruise holiday and I have decided to buy myself a single loose Tahitian pearl to be set on a leather strand (a popular men's style necklace) and I began doing some research on Tahitian pearls in order to get a good bargain without compromising on the quality of the pearl. When it comes to buying Tahitian pearls, the quality of the pearl is extremely important, but I also do not wish to get ripped off by pearl dealers who inflate their prices.
I started enquiring about the prices of loose Tahitian pearls from a number of pearl retailers in Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora based on the 5 common properties that every pearl dealer talks about: size, shape, surface quality, colour and lustre(shine). From my conversations with all these pearl dealers via email, the one who impressed me most was Mr. Didier Sibani, the proprietor of this Sibani Perles. From him, I received a detailed and captivating education on Tahitian pearls, from his involvement in the founding of the Tahitian cultured pearl industry over 50 years ago to the latest information regarding the current situation of modern-day pearl farming techniques and the pearl retailing business in French Polynesia. From Mr. Sibani, I learned that there are many Tahitian pearls on the market that have been chemically treated to produce beautiful and attractive colours. The problem with these unnatural-coloured pearls is; their colour fades or changes over time. And those pearls with unnatural colours are sold at very high prices because those dealers will say that those colours are very rare! I also discovered that today, most Tahitian pearl producers follow a period of 18 to 24 months to grow their pearls in their farms. Mr. Sibani, however, follows a production period of 48 to 60 months for his pearls in order to allow the oysters to build a thicker layer of nacre over the grafted nucleus. The layer of nacre of a pearl determines the overall inherrent quality of the pearl. This basically means: the thicker the layer of the nacre is, the better the quality of the pearl.
I am so glad that I wrote to Mr. Sibani, he has taught me so much about the quality and natural colours of Tahitian pearls. I certainly do not want to buy pearls with unnatural colours and I want my pearl to remain beautiful for a lifetime, not just for a few years! Investing in a Tahitian pearl is a huge privilege for those of us who have the good fortune of having the opportunity to visit French Polynesia. If you are an overseas visitor coming to French Polynesia for a holiday and you intend to buy Tahitian pearls as a souvenir for yourself or your loved ones, please do some research on Tahitian pearls and don't get ripped off. Write to pearl dealers like Mr. Sibani to get more information about Tahitian pearls before you arrive in French Polynesia so that you can make a better decision for your purchase.
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