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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member judimcc6's Avatar
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    Default Is there a prevalence of dyed Tahitians pearls?

    I am troubled by this. I was in a very respectable jewelry store with a friend who was a friend of the Manager. We were picking up a donation for an event and the manager said that these Tahitian pearls were NOT dyed. She made such an emphasis of saying they were not dyed that I had to say that there were many restrictions about the export of the Tahitian pearl market that a jewelry store of note would not carry any dyed Tahitians. I was disturbed that she became indignant and said that at least 80% of the Tahitian market was dyed. I dropped it there...

    I guess I have dealt with so many wonderful people in the pearl industry that this has not been a concern, but I would like to know the "horror" stories and what you think of the dyed Tahitian pearls for sale. Naturally, I have seen some of the most despicable pearls being sold in Tucson (not at the best shows) as Tahitians, but those pearls could not be placed in a jewelry store. They were horrible. It is just hard for me to believe that 80% of the Tahitians sold are dyed.

    What do you think?
    Judi McCormick
    Judi McCormick Studios
    www.judimccormickjewelry.com

  2. #2
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Hi Judi, wow! I think a few years ago, there were chocolate tahitians which were dyed. And I believe that some of the pistachios seen are treated in some way...but I would say they are likely such a small percentage of the production. Just speculation on my part, but could the manager have been referring to the prevalence of "Tahitians" on eBay which are really dyed freshwaters?
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  3. #3
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Judi,
    If there were a genuine problem with dyed Tahitians, GIA would be all over it and reporting. Jeremy would be concerned and advise us, too, as he buys and sells lots of Tahitians. Jersey Pearl, I expect your interpretation of the manager's remarks is correct; she is confusing dyed freshwater with Tahitians.
    Pattye


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  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member judimcc6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyPearl View Post
    Hi Judi, wow! I think a few years ago, there were chocolate tahitians which were dyed. And I believe that some of the pistachios seen are treated in some way...but I would say they are likely such a small percentage of the production. Just speculation on my part, but could the manager have been referring to the prevalence of "Tahitians" on eBay which are really dyed freshwaters?
    I thought that immediately, but she was adamant that most Tahitians one would see...with the exception of hers...were dyed. I have done a LOT of buying of Tahitians and visited pearl farms and I was just appalled at the thought. I know there are some outliers but I am glad, so far, to hear that we are not this small circle of pearl aficionados.
    Judi McCormick
    Judi McCormick Studios
    www.judimccormickjewelry.com

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    The store manager is misinformed. Dyed Tahitian pearls are definitely the exception to the rule not the rule. I rarely see treated Tahitians except for chocolates (which we almost never see anymore because the popularity has gone away and Le Vian decided to threaten all chocolate pearl sellers in the US) and pistachios.

    There is only one company that I've seen in Hong Kong at the show that carries mostly treated Tahitians and they are a Chinese company in the same building as our main freshwater pearl supplier. But that garbage accounts for such a tiny percentage of what is sold, I don't even think dyed Tahitians make up close to 1% of the Tahitians on the market.

  6. #6
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Are all pistachios treated? I was under the impression that the pistachio Tahitians I have bought ( from PP)were natural?

  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl mrsadm's Avatar
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    Default “Tahitians” that are really dyed freshwater?

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyPearl View Post
    Hi Judi, wow! I think a few years ago, there were chocolate tahitians which were dyed. And I believe that some of the pistachios seen are treated in some way...but I would say they are likely such a small percentage of the production. Just speculation on my part, but could the manager have been referring to the prevalence of "Tahitians" on eBay which are really dyed freshwaters?
    Really trying to learn more about pearls .... Can anyone here please post some links to examples on eBay? Or, post some pictures?
    Or just send me a message if easier. Thanks in advance.
    Linda
    Last edited by mrsadm; 03-21-2019 at 01:18 AM. Reason: Clarification

  8. #8
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    If you purchased your pistachio Tahitians from Pearl Paradise, 2thdktr rest assured they have not been color treated. PP discloses any color treatments.

  9. #9
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2thdktr View Post
    Are all pistachios treated? I was under the impression that the pistachio Tahitians I have bought ( from PP)were natural?
    I don't know about what you bought-- perhaps your appraisal that came with the pearls says whether the color is natural? I would think they are but it ought to be on the appraisal.

    Here is a GIA article about some pistachio pearls that tested as being dyed:
    https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/sp...pearl-company?

  10. #10
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    mrsadm,

    Many of the "Tahitians" on eBay that are really freshwaters come from China. There are a zillion listings. I'm messaging you links to 12 I found with little effort.

    There are indicators.
    The color is not right-- it may be too black, too blue/purple, too "oil slick". Or, too uniform.
    The shapes may be eggy, typical of FWP.
    If there are circles, the pearls may be drilled in the same direction as the circles (instead of perpendicular to the circles, as it typical for Tahitians and SSP).
    The sizes may be too small.
    The price may be too low.
    There may be bands of low luster typical of low quality FWP.

    However, you have to be careful even of many Chinese listings that show photos of actual Tahitians (or akoyas or SSP)-- you often won't get the item photographed, but FWP instead.

    See this article: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/co...ltwater-Pearls
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 03-21-2019 at 02:44 AM.

  11. #11
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Also regarding dyed FWP listed as Tahitians, watch out for eBay listings for pre-owned Tahitian pearls, many of which are listed at prices more appropriate for real Tahitians. I just now found 15 such listings.

    I suspect many of these sellers are just people who bought FWP listed as Tahitians, didn't like what they got, and are now trying to recoup their losses. Some may not even realize their listings are of dyed FWP. Others are estate sellers and pawn shops.

  12. #12
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
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    My little experience allows me to think most of tahitian pearls are not dyed, after to have made a tour inside there nacre.
    I have not found dyed in any sizes and tones, even the only green one I have worked was not dyed.
    Chinese sellers show "hematite" pearls, metallic black, but then usually don't talk of tahitian pearls.

  13. #13
    Member pammbw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    mrsadm,

    Many of the "Tahitians" on eBay that are really freshwaters come from China. There are a zillion listings. I'm messaging you links to 12 I found with little effort.

    There are indicators.
    The color is not right-- it may be too black, too blue/purple, too "oil slick". Or, too uniform.
    The shapes may be eggy, typical of FWP.
    If there are circles, the pearls may be drilled in the same direction as the circles (instead of perpendicular to the circles, as it typical for Tahitians and SSP).
    The sizes may be too small.
    The price may be too low.
    There may be bands of low luster typical of low quality FWP.

    However, you have to be careful even of many Chinese listings that show photos of actual Tahitians (or akoyas or SSP)-- you often won't get the item photographed, but FWP instead.

    See this article: https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/co...ltwater-Pearls

    This is also true of white south sea pearls, not just tahitians. And as Kathleen pointed out, lots of edisons are being dyed gold. Very easy for a pearl novice to be fooled. I shop Wen Pearls pretty regularly and she has many strands- correctly identified- that could easily be sold by unscrupulous sellers as tahitian or south sea. My last visit to A&P market in Shanghai had lots of gold SS and tahitians at most of the jewelry booths, and if they were all genuine I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you. ;-) So, we all need to be aware and be savvy shoppers.

  14. #14
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    There are a lot of listings on eBay for "Tahitian black" pearls, and I decided a long time ago that they are using it as a color description and not describing the pearls.

    Le Vian decided to threaten all chocolate pearl sellers in the US
    Is that why PP no longer offers chocolate pearls?
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ennui View Post
    There are a lot of listings on eBay for "Tahitian black" pearls, and I decided a long time ago that they are using it as a color description and not describing the pearls.

    Is that why PP no longer offers chocolate pearls?
    No, we didn't stop selling chocolates because of LeVian's threats. Some dealers started calling their chocolates mocha pearls and other things. We just eventually stopped carrying them because they were the only treated Tahitians we carried and the fad mostly passed - people don't ask for them anymore.

    During the whole LeVian vs the pearl industry debacle, I was told by another dealer that they were able to trademark the name Chocolate Pearls even though they didn't come up with it or start carrying them until well after the chocolate pearl industry was established.They were originally denied the trademark but filed something like a 150 argument and were able to convince the examiner that chocolate diamonds and chocolate pearls were similar if not the same.

    Not all chocolates and not all pistachio are treated. The colors do come naturally, but they are very rare.

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