Julie’s Test Post

The Cook Islands are the world’s second largest producer of black pearls.  Not to be confused with The Black Pearl (pirate ship NOT made in the Cook Islands), these pearls are formed by the Tahitian black-lipped oyster Pinctada margaritifera when an irritating grain of sand is coated in the same substance (calcium carbonate) that the oyster coats the inside of its shell with.  Much more rare than white pearls (about 1 in 10,000), black pearls get their color from soaking up pigment from the black band around the edges of the aptly named Tahitian black-lipped oyster, pictured above. Due to the rare nature of black pearls, they cost (on average) about ten times price of white pearls.  So ladies, if you want to buy some rare pearls in the Cook Islands, bring plenty of green to get the black! 🙂