Coveted by people all over the globe, the South Sea pearl is renowned for having the thickest nacre, largest size and an unparalleled depth in lustre & colour, which has labelled it as one of the most valuable and rare gems in the world.
The species of a pearl oyster, and the environment in which it is grown, is crucial in determining the pearls complexion and quality. The South Sea pearl, grown in the largest pearl producing oyster in the world, the Pinctada maxima oyster, is renowned for its depth of lustre, and richness in colours and hues, found in a spectrum of shades including White, Ivory, Silver, Blue, Yellow and rich Gold. The cousin of the Pinctada maxima oyster, the Pinctada margaritifera oyster, known as Tahitian or Black pearls are found in shades of Aubergine, Blue, Green and Grey.
The surface of a pearl is essentially its skin. Because South Sea pearls have layers of lustrous nacre built up over time, a flawless surface is extremely rare. As pearls are a gift of nature from a living organism, the most beautiful and valuable pearls may still have slight imperfections which appear in the form of small blemishes or spots. These naturally bestowed ‘beauty marks’ characterise each pearl as an individual creation.
The most sought-after of all pearls, the South Sea pearl is grown in a saltwater oyster and is bead-nucleated. A labour of love, the South Sea pearl spends two silent years growing in the host oyster before it is born in the native coastlines of Australia & Indonesia. There are many different factors that can affect a pearls quality including severe weather conditions, the genetic makeup of the shell, seeding techniques and the cleaning techniques. At the AUTORE Pearl Farms, each oyster is individually cleaned and cared for to provide the organism with the best possible opportunity to produce a high-quality pearl, however ultimately, it is up to nature.
The Lustre of the pearl, is the glow which radiates from within. Known as iridescence, this glow is a result of many fine layers of a crystal-like substance called nacre which is secreted from the oyster, creating a pearl. The quality and thickness of nacre gives a pearl both its radiance and its deep glow. The combination of light reflecting on the pearl’s surface and light refracting between each layer of nacre within the pearl is what makes this gem unique. Lustre has the magic to minimise other imperfections and is considered the soul of the pearl, and AUTORE's South Sea pearls are known for having some of the best lustre in the market.