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Pearls of Wisdom

Buying Pearls

The Tahitian Pearl is legendary among jewelry lovers, and most people traveling to this island destination hope to bring home a black pearl of their own. Luckily, these calcareous concretions are sold throughout Raiatea and Tahaa—they come from the lagoon between them. While a good deal of hype and mystique is attached to the pearl, simple common sense and an appreciation of their beauty will help most buyers make the right choice.

So, where should you shop?

Arri Boutique. On Raiatea you can stop by Arri Boutique. 66–35–54.

,

La Palme D'Or. La Palme D'Or is a recommended place to shop for pearls on Raiatea. 66–23–79.

, or

Tico Pearls. Tico Pearls is a recommended place to shop for pearls on Raiatea. 66–14–00.

, all of which are in Uturoa.

Pearl Farms

But what if you want to know more about the pearl? Maybe you'd like to know how a pearl is made. If so, a trip to a pearl farm is in order. Visitors learn how pearls are prepared for grafting, as well as the varieties and their characteristics. Visitors can also buy pearls or jewelry direct from the farms.

The following farms, which are all located in Haamene, Tahaa, are open daily, 4:30 am-6 pm and offer free admission.

Motu Pearl Farm. Loose pearls and 18-carat-gold-set jewelry can be purchased at Motu Pearl Farm. 65–66–67. . www.motupearlfarm.com.

Poerani Farm. Near Vaipoe Farm, Poerani Farm has lovely grounds and will arrange for visitors pickups, for a fee. 65–64–20. .

Vaipoe Pearl Farm. Vaipoe Pearl Farm has a gift shop that sells its own cultivated black pearls, jewelry, and handicrafts. They accept MasterCard and Visa, which is rare. 65–60–83. .

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