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The Tahitian pearl is a pearl that is extracted from the black-lipped pearl oysters in French Polynesia. Their color fluctuates between anthracite and black, their natural size between that of a pea and that of an almond.
The commercial exploitation of the pearl by Europeans and Americans began at the beginning of the 19th century. The pearls aroused the interest of European merchants and conquerors. The first commercial pearl delivery to Europe took place in 1802, and since around 1820 pearls have been exploited on a large scale. The pearl divers were mostly Europeans who had come here and were rewarded with rifles, knives, clothing, food and alcohol. Merchant ships brought the bartered goods to Tahiti and left again laden with pearls.