Rangiroa - Black Pearl Farm
We have visited the Black Pearl farm and been out drinking with 'The Swedes' as we call Goran and Arne off Aumoana, who crewed for us through the canal. Incredibly we had to stop drinking at a local hotel at 10.30pm as everyone (staff and a half dozen guests) had gone to bed.
Pearls are cultivated by inserting a small implant made of Mississipi mussel shell, along with a small piece of local mother of pearl of the intended future colour into the appendix of the oyster.
When a pearl is removed, an implant of the same size is inserted in its place, so a new larger pearl can be grown. (This is a black pearl farm, the implant is the white bead)