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Pearl Buying Guide

Tahitian Pearls Fast Facts

Shape: Wide range of natural shapes
Size Range: Between 8 – 14 mm
Colors: Dark colors including silver, charcoal and gray
Rarity: Rare
Origin: Blue Lagoons of the South Pacific
Mollusk: "Black-lipped" oyster
Grow Time: 2-6 years

How to Grade Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian Pearls are graded on an A-D system, also known as the Tahitian System


The highest rating for only the highest-quality pearls
Very high Luster
Less than 10% of the pearl’s surface is covered with minor imperfections


Slight, but highly concentrated imperfections cover 20% or less of the pearls surface
Can have only one or two deep inclusions
Luster is high or very high


High or medium luster
30% of the pearl’s surface shows some imperfections


Medium luster
Over 60% or less of the surface area has visible defects


Luster is irrelevant in this grade

Size Guidelines for Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian pearl size varies with the smallest at around 8mm and the largest at 16mm. 10 to 12 mm pearls are among the most popular size chosen.

  • 9.0mm

  • 10mm

  • 11mm

  • 12mm

  • 13mm

  • 14mm

Tahitian Pearl Colors

As the only naturally dark cultured pearl, Tahitian pearls usually boast colors of silver, grey and green with overtones ranging from pink to dark green.