The Myths and Mystery
of Tahitian Black Pearls
Featured at Maria Cumbé
In legends of the South Seas, the
black pearls were created when the Tahitian God Oro descended from the sky along a Rainbow
Bridge. Bits of rainbow color washed into the sea. Black pearls were born in warm,
tropical lagoons, from a marriage of moonlight and rainbow.
Shimmering, iridescent, exotic
and rare, black pearls were the ultimate gift of love and romance, and were given to
lovely Tahitian queens and princesses by their ardent lovers. Extremely rare, black pearls
were cherished by Tahitian Royalty as gift of the gods.
It is said that Cleopatra crushed
a large pearl given to her by her lover Mark Anthony, and together they drank it in a
glass of wine as a testimonial to their undying love. Black Pearls hold enchantment for
lovers for they are the ultimate gift of romance.
About Black Pearl Jewelry
Tahitian black pearls are thought
to be the most valuable of all pearls. They come from the tropical oceans of Tahiti. It is
said that of the black pearls found, 20% are suitable for jewelry, and of those, 5% are
gem quality. You can be assured that the Pearls offered by Maria Cumbé have been
carefully selected and reflect the best of all the criteria. Your satisfaction is our goal
and our handcrafted jewelry pieces are guaranteed.
Six criteria used to describe
Tahitian Black Pearls:
Luster is determined by the
reflection of light on the pearl's surface. Very high luster pearls show sharp light
reflections, like a mirror.
Orient is the underlying play
of iridescent colors. Orient is the opalescent interaction of light that can be observed
by looking past the lustrous surface and into the many layers of pearl nacre.
Tahitian black pearls are always naturally
colored. Pearls have a body color and overtones. The body colors range from pale silver to
dark black. The overtones come in a rainbow of beautiful natural colors: blues, golds,
bronzes, coppers, royal purples, peacock greens, seafoam greens, creams, light yellows,
light oranges, mauves and pinks.
Tahitian black pearls come in
a wide range of natural shapes: baroque, button, drop, half-drop, pear, near round and
round. Round shapes are the most expensive because only 1 to 3% of the black pearls
harvested are round. Round, near round, button, pear, drop and half-drop pearls with
ring-like formations around them are called circle pearls. Baroque and circle pearl shapes
are the least expensive because they are more commonly harvested.
Mabe pearls are formed against
the inside of the oyster shell and tend to be flat on one side and domed on the other.
They are carved into unique shapes for designer jewelry, allowing one to achieve a larger
look at a generally lower price than a round or drop pearl of the same size.
The average size for Tahitian
black pearls is 8 to 11 mm. Some pearls can reach 12-14 mm and very rare pearls can even
attain 18 mm. Some exceptional sized baroque black pearls may reach 25 to 30 mm.
TOP GEM: Flawless pearl with no surface marks.
AAA1: One to three marks on an area of the
pearl that covers less than 20% of the surface. Very high luster and orient.
AAA2: Three to six marks on an area of the
pearl that covers less than 30% of the surface. Very high luster and orient.
AA1: Six to 10 marks on an area of the pearl
that covers less than 55% of the surface. Good luster and orient.
AA2: More than 10 marks on an area of the
pearl that covers more than 55% of the surface. Average to good luster.
Maria Cumbé in the Plaza Pacifico mall on Av.
Audiencia specializes in black pearl jewelry custom made by Colima's best designers. For
more information on black pearl jewelry, e-mail
Rossella or stop by for a visit while you're here in Manzanillo. Planning a wedding,
anniversary or honeymoon here? Black pearls are the ultimate romantic gift for lovers.