The demand for Cultured Tahitian pearls has grown dramatically in the last 40 years. Since their discovery, Tahitian pearl jewelry is found in jewelry retail stores all over the world. But unfortunately the demand is much higher than the current supply. It takes a much larger effort to culture a high number of Tahitian pearls. Therefore, they are rarer and more expensive than say Akoya Pearls , which is being produced extensively in China and Japan.
The black-lipped oyster is large. In fact it can grow up to 12 inches in diameter and can weigh up to 10 pounds. This is huge as compared to other smaller species. This is why the Tahitian pearls are typically much larger than the Akoya or freshwater pearls. Black-lipped oysters will only produce one pearl at a time however they can be re-nucleated up to 3 times in succession.
The value of Tahitian pearls is very high. So high, in fact, that Tahitian pearls are comparable to South Sea pearls in value. They have a larger size and very unusual colors that make them exceptionally popular. The cost of nurturing and maintaining the black-lipped oyster population also adds to the overall value. It should be noted that an unusually large, round, AAA quality Tahitian Cultured Pearl can cost thousands of dollars by itself.