1. Luster and Orient

Never sacrifice luster. It is the aesthetic factor most responsible for giving a pearl its unique beauty and character. Simply defined, luster is the sharpness and intensity of reflected light on a pearl’s surface.
The second quality is orient. Orient is a soft iridescent glow which looks like a diffusion of light from inside the gem.
Pearls are the result of layer upon layer of nacre (NAY-ker) building up, enveloping the transplanted nucleus. Nacre is the same crystalline substance that forms the beautiful shell linings we call “mother of pearl.” Typically, the thicker the nacre, the better the orient. And the finer the quality of the nacre’s surface, the better the luster.
The more orient and luster, the more exquisite, rare and costly the pearl.

2. Nacre Thickness and Quality

Nacre thickness and quality impact the lasting beauty of a pearl more than any other factor. Pearls with high luster and iridescent orient will also have desirably thick nacre. Pearls lacking a lustrous glow will have thin nacre, and will not last. Tahitian Black Pearls represent a significant investment. They should provide generations of enjoyment for their owners. So at Sab Pearls, we look for uniform iridescence and bright, intense lustre when choosing our pearls. Sabine hand selects each Tahitian Black Pearl individually, to offer you the best variety of highest quality Tahitian Black Pearls.


3. Surface Perfection

Blemish-free surfaces are rare. Ideally, we hide any surface blemishes in a setting. When examining a pearl for unsightly imperfections, check it out under both diffused and bright light sources. Inspect it against a contrasting background, rolling the gem on a flat surface. When hesitating among several colors, try them on and look at them in the natural light.

The 5 aspects of GIE classification :

Top Gem: Flawless surface extremely bright luster and deep orient. Rare and exceptional.

A grade: Less than 10% of the surface with imperfections. Beautiful luster and rich orient. Very desirable

B grade: From 10 to 30% of the surface with imperfections. Good to beautiful luster and orient.

C grade: From 30 to 60% of the surface with imperfections. Average to beautiful luster and orient

D grade: Over 60% of the surface with imperfections. Poor luster and no orient.

Sab Pearls will not carry any selection of D grade Tahitian Black Pearls.

4. Shape

Round. Perfectly spherical. Absolutely round pearl with utterly unblemished surfaces are scarce and costly.. At Sab Pearls ,we count seven basic shapes of Tahitian Black Pearls.:

Round Pearls — spheres with no more than 2% distortion

Semi-Round Pearls — spheres with distortion between 2% and 5%

Semi Baroque Pearls — teardrop, pear and acorn-shaped gems with good proportioning and outline; nice, well-balanced shapes

Circled Pearls — at least three concentric rings on more than one-third of the surface; sometimes ringed top to bottom

Baroque Pearls — irregularly shaped and quite .

Keishi Pearls — cultured without a nucleus with asymmetrical shapes

Mabe Pearls — half pearls with various shapes which are obtained when cutting the shell



5. Size

Tahitian Black Pearls are typically larger than their more traditional white pearl cousins from Japan, China and elsewhere in Asia. The larger the Tahitian Black Pearl, the greater the cost.

Cultured pearls are sold by size, as calculated in millimeters. To help with perspective, the Japanese Akoya, the classic round, white pearl, typically ranges in size from 2.0 mm (very small) to 8.0 mm (very large). There is a dramatic jump in price for Akoya pearls exceeding 7.5 mm. Tahitian Black Pearls typically range from 8.0 mm to 11.0 mm, with prices increasing proportionately from 12 mm to 15 mm, and more dramatically as size exceeds 15 mm. Because they are rarer, they are more valuable. It would not be unusual for a single 11.0-11.5 mm Tahitian Black Pearl to be more costly than an 18” strand of cultured saltwater pearls of the same quality from Japan.

6. Color

First, the term “black” is a bit of a misnomer. All of the Tahitian Black Pearls we have at Sab Pearls are in an amazing variety of rich striking colors: vivid green with magenta overtones, described as a“peacock” color, dark purple “eggplant,” blues from dark navy to rich turquoise, lemon and grapefruit yellows, greens from emerald to olive and pistachio... “Black” is a term accurately describing the black-lipped oyster that produces the pearls. Pure black being one of the rarest of colors…Most of the Tahitian Black Pearls have a silvery gray green shade. Any bright color without a base of grey would be more rare and desirable…You just have to find the right color for your skin tone… All Tahitian Black Pearls, regardless of hue or shade, provide an unrivaled exotic allure.