Tahitian Pearl Necklaces: Buying & Style Guide

Updated March 31, 2021
Excellent Round Tahitian Black Pearls

Sporting a strand of pearls is a sign of class and elegance. Every woman should own at least one set of pearls in her lifetime. Luxurious Tahitian pearl necklaces are coveted because of their unique beauty and appeal.

Tahitian Pearl Necklace Colors

A Tahitian pearl necklace is often known as a Tahitian black pearl necklace, but they are not actually black. Tahitian pearls for necklaces range in colors such as:

  • Rich grey
  • Green
  • Blues
  • Purples
  • Dark rosy tones
  • Rainbow-hued
Tahitian Black Pearls

Avoiding Tahitian Pearl Necklace Imitations

Due to the popular, but exclusive nature of Tahitian pearl necklaces, you may, unfortunately, encounter false or imitation necklaces of Tahitian pearls. Jewelry made of Tahitian pearls is not cheap, so when making a purchase, be sure you are getting the real deal.

When looking for necklaces, keep in mind:

  • Real Tahitian pearls have various overtones; imitation pearls will have a flat, dull, more singular body color.
  • Imitation pearls are usually lightweight, while genuine Tahitian pearls are quite heavy.
  • The drillings in real Tahitian pearls will appear smooth around the edges, while false pearl drillings may appear bumpy or uneven.
  • Real pearls are cool to the touch, while false pearls will feel room temperature.
  • Unblemished Tahitian pearls are very rare and will bear an extremely high price tag.
  • Real Tahitian pearls will have a bit of grit to them when rubbed against your teeth, whereas fake pearls will feel smooth.
inspection of cultured pearls

Tahitian Pearl Necklace Styles

Necklaces are one of the most popular types of jewelry. They are immediately noticeable and can offer a special touch to your ensemble, from dramatic to delicate. Tahitian pearl necklaces are prized because of their beauty and value. A wonderful combination of traditional and contemporary, Tahitian pearls make captivating necklaces.

Tahitian pearl necklaces vary according to:

  • Length
  • Grade of pearls
  • Color or tone of pearls
  • Pearl surface quality
  • The overall style and design

Traditional Necklaces

A Tahitian pearl necklace in the traditional style consists of a strand of Tahitian pearls, usually strung using silk and closed with a clasp made of precious metal such as gold. Diamond accent and other specialty clasps are a current trend. The pearls are similar in size, shape (usually spherical), and luster. Colors may vary. Since the overtones on Tahitian pearls can vary greatly, a necklace consisting of the same color pearls can be extremely expensive. A necklace with multi-tonal pearls may be less costly.

  • This circle-baroque Tahitian pearl necklace encompasses all that the jewelry stands for. The color is a deep, dark green and the pearls are circular and baroque in style.
  • Tahitian pearls are a bit like fingerprints, with each one being a bit different from the next. This lack of uniformity in this multi color necklace is what makes a piece such as this so interesting and desirable.
Necklace of pearls on gray satin

Graduated

A graduated Tahitian pearl necklace is designed with a large central pearl or pearls, and the size decreases in increments towards the clasp of the necklace. This not only provides a lovely necklace silhouette but can be slightly less expensive. The graduated style is catching to the eye as you are immediately drawn to the large pearls in the center of the strand.

Spaced Pearl Chains

Spaced Tahitian pearl chains are a popular look that melds traditional pearl strands with contemporary styling. A gold or other chain contains a number of Tahitian pearls spaced out evenly between lengths of chain.

Drop Pearl Necklace

If you want simplicity and statement, consider sporting a Tahitian pearl necklace that has a single star of a pearl dripping from a chain. Drop pearl necklaces are meant to make people take notice and when paired with a plunging neckline shirt or dress, you'll be garnishing plenty of attention from admirers. This Tahitian pearl necklace is elegant but paired with a simple chain, it can be worn with casual styles as well as eveningwear.

Tahitian Black Pearl Necklace

Tahitian Pearl Pendant Necklaces

Another popular way to showcase a Tahitian pearl is with a pendant. A Tahitian pearl necklace pendant is beautiful, original, and more affordable than a necklace made entirely of pearls. You can change out the necklace stands and create a whole new look for your pearl pendant. Tahitian pearl pendants are available in a variety of styles and make a wonderfully appealing accessory with many types of clothing.

Gold and white gold are commonly used in conjunction with Tahitian pearls to create pendants. Diamond accents are also utilized with pendants to bring out the mirror-like sheen of the pearls. Pendants may be enclosed, drop-mounted, or part of a design such as diamond swirls, floral designs, teardrop shapes, or unique pendants such as white gold-dragonflies.

  • This Tahitian pearl pendant is all the jewelry you will need to stand out. It speaks for itself and certainly has a wow factor.
  • What is better than one pearl? Three pearls, that's what!

Tahitian Pearl Necklaces Just for Men

When people think of pearls, they think of ladies' jewelry, but there are several simple styles of pearl jewelry that are designed just for dapper dudes.

So Many Shapes and Sizes

Tahitian pearls are not a one size fits all kind of gem. There are several shapes and sizes to consider before buying.

Black pearl

Baroque

Tahitian baroque style pearl necklaces are pearl strands, but the shape of the pearls is what differentiates these necklaces. The drop-style or irregularly shaped pearls offer originality and unique beauty. Another benefit of baroque Tahitian pearls is that they may be considerably less expensive than a comparable necklace with spherical pearls. The variance in the individual pearls is what makes this necklace so exquisite. It is traditional, but with a funky twist.

Round or Near Round

A near round shape is a common style of pearl in Tahitian pearl jewelry and it is much sought after. A circular Tahitian pearl necklace is often the most pricey option when all other factors are similar.

Circle

Circle-shaped Tahitian pearls have a texture to them that almost makes each pearl look as if it has ridges. The ridges reflect and pick up light in a similar way as the baroque pearls. Circle pearls are all slightly different, so a piece of jewelry containing them feels very individualized and special.

Costs of Tahitian Pearl Necklaces

Prices vary depending on the quality or grade of pearls, the size, shape, and other factors. A typical strand of Tahitian pearls will cost several thousand dollars, while a single-pearl pendant may cost $250 or more. If you have limitless funds, then the world is truly your oyster, and you can spend hundreds of thousands on pearls, even millions when big fat diamonds are incorporated into the piece. Most people don't have that kind of money, and there really is a Tahitian pearl for every budget. A few hundred dollars can score you a simple starter strand if you look hard enough for a bargain.

Understanding Tahitian Pearls

The pearls, found in the waters surrounding the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, were first cultivated in 1965. The popularity of these pearls has since only increased. Tahitian pearls are made from the Pinctada margaritifera oyster. The black-lipped variety of these oysters can encompass a span of more than 12 inches. The resulting pearls are some of the largest pearls in the world, measuring up to 18mm but commonly found to be between 8mm and 14mm. These pearls can be highly lustrous but are also sensitive, and flawless Tahitian pearls can be very costly.

Owning Luxury

Jewelry made of Tahitian pearls should last for a lifetime. Make sure that you properly care for your pearls, as the maintenance of them differs from caring for other forms of jewelry. Cherish your strands and wear them proudly. There is literally no way you will ever feel blah and drab when wearing Tahitian pearls.

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Tahitian Pearl Necklaces: Buying & Style Guide