The French Polynesian Tahiti cultured pearl is known for its unique luster, which partly is a result of a thick layer of mother of pearl. The Tahiti cultured pearl has a layer of nacre of minimum 0,8mm, often much thicker. The thick layer of nacre makes it possible to carve these pearls.
The carvings are inspired by the traditional French Polynesian tattoos which are, in particular in the Marquesas Islands, carried out in a very lively and complex manner by skilled tattooists. This new expression is developed by the Polynesian people, who have hundreds of years of experience with their pearls. Carving of pearls is quit new and not a part of old traditions though. The French Polynesian patterns often illustrate the Polynesians’ close connection with nature and the surrounding animals. Sea waves and animals such as turtles, rays and lizards are frequently illustrated. Also the well known Polynesian Tiki sculptures made of wood or rock give inspiration to the carvings. The Tiki is a part of the Polynesian mythology.
These unique carvings are carried out by hand and the thicker the layer of mother of pearl, the more pronounced the carvings can be. The patterns can be more or less detailed; this depends amongst others on the size of the pearl and the skills and precision of the tattooist resulting in a both elegant and rustic decoration of nature’s own gem.