Tahitian cultured pearls are black pearls from the South Seas.
They are typically between eight and 20 millimetres in diameter; examples which are larger than this are extremely rare.
The main areas of production are the French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.
Their colour ranges from brown/black, aubergine, and peacock, to green/grey and anthracite. Tahitian pearls are the only pearls that are naturally black in colour. All other black cultured pearls have been coloured artificially.
The Tahitian pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera, can reach up to five kilograms in weight, and produces a nacre layer between one and 1.5 millimetres in thickness each year. Cultivation of a pearl takes between 18 months and two years.