Length (inches): 23 Style: Strand/string Metal: 14k Gold Metal Purity: 14k Main Stone: Pearl Main Stone Creation: Natural Color: Black Secondary Stone: Pearl - 10370-050618-EB-34532 -- Tahitian Black Pearls Additional Description: The Tahitian pearl (or black pearl) is an organic gem formed from the black lip oyster (Pinctada margaritifera). These pearls derive their name from the fact that they are primarily cultivated around the islands of French Polynesia, around Tahiti. Tahitian pearls come in a range of colors from white to black. They can contain various undertones and overtones of green, pink, blue, silver and yellow. The most valuable of these are of the darker variety, as the naturally dark tones of the Tahitian pearls is a unique quality among pearls. A true black Tahitian pearl is extremely rare, and largely considered one of the most beautiful kinds of pearls in the world, with a single strand of these pearls being worth at least $10,000 on the retail market. Most Tahitian pearls that are identified as â€œblackâ€ are actually charcoal grey, silver, or dark green. An advantage of the Tahitian pearl is that the oyster inside of which they grow is quite large, sometimes weighing as much as ten pounds. This means that a Tahitian pearl can more easily grow to a larger-than-average size. The cultured Tahitian pearl comes in various shapes, sizes, and colors; shapes include round, semi-round, button, circle, oval, teardrop, semi-baroque and baroque. Because of their darker hues, Tahitian pearls are commonly known as "black pearls". However, Tahitian pearls have the ability to contain various undertones and overtones of green, pink, blue, silver and yellow. All (or any combination) of these colors may be seen in a cultured Tahitian pearl. Due to the variety of shapes and colors of the Tahitian pearl, it has been known to fit in any jewelry setting. The versatility and mixture of color give it its value. The culturing process of a Tahitian pearl involves an expert grafter, who inserts a bead made from a mollusk shell into the gonad, or reproductive organ, of the mature Pinctada margaritifera mollusk. It takes two years for an oyster to mature enough to begin producing pearls. Inserted with the bead is a piece of mantle tissue from a donor mollusk, which influences the color of the pearl being produced and provides epithelial cells to ensure that the oyster produces nacre around the nucleus. The materials used in the process are organic, to decrease the probability of the oyster rejecting the nucleus. The shell is sanded and rounded to form the bead, so the pearls produced have a rounder shape. The whole process takes place quickly, because oysters cannot survive very long out of water. The Tahitian pearl is French Polynesiaâ€™s largest export, making up over 55 percent of the country's annual exports of 20 million dollars. The cultured Tahitian pearl farms are located in the blue lagoons of the Tuamotu-Gambier Archipelago, which is one of the five archipelagos which make up French Polynesia (Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and the Tahitians make up the main ethnic group in the territory).