Greetings from Honolulu! I caught the pearl bug while living here, and now that I'm back for a visit, I'm on a mission to find a few more Tahitian pearls (one must keep one's priorities straight). I haven't posted here in quite a while, but some recent purchases have inspired me.
I'm planning a trip to Tahiti Pearl Market (whose name and location have changed - I fear the Waikiki address will come with a price increase commensurate with their jump in rent), but I lucked out the other day while wandering around the monthly Waikiki Artfest in Kapi'olani Park. A gentleman by the name of Mark Kaneshiro (Mark Kane Designs http://www.markkanedesigns.com/) had a booth, and every single pearl was gorgeous - not a dull grey Tahitian in sight, but rather overtones of pink, blue, peacock, aqua, etc. He also had quite a few golden south seas. He designs and makes all his pieces, and mentioned that he travels to Hong Kong and Kobe to buy his pearls.
After much deliberation, I picked out a 12.6mm Tahitian in a sterling sliver setting (there was an entire case of pearls set in sterling silver, for the budget-conscious like me). If you're ever in Honolulu, I highly recommend searching out his stuff, if only to admire the beautiful pearls.
The lariat necklace in the photo is just an inexpensive piece from a shop on the ground floor of the Ala Moana shopping center.