Historically, pearls have been used as an adornment for centuries. They were one of the favorite gem materials of the Roman Empire; later in Tudor England, the 1500s were known as the pearl age. Pearls are unique as they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty. In the early 1900s, the first successful commercial culturing of round saltwater pearls began. Since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market.
Atelier Leseine specializes in Tahitian Black Pearls. Ancients in French Polynesia believed that Tahitian pearls were the first cases of light, which were given by the Creator to Tane --God of Harmony and Beauty. Tahitian pearls illuminated the vault of heaven with their light.
Their form and brightness inspired Tane to create the stars. Tane then brought the pearls to Rua Hatu -- God of the Ocean in order for him to lighten his domain. Oro -- God of War and Peace, working for Tane, entrusted human women whom he coveted to conceive his descendants, with the first pearls, as tokens of love. With the achievement of his work complete, he gave "Te ufi" - pearl oysters to humans, in memory of his voyage on earth. Ever since, the pearl oyster "Te ufi -- Pinctada Margaritifera, has thrived in the lagoons of French Polynesia.
In Polynesian culture, the first two mythical pearls, which were given to a princess on earth by Oro -- God of war and peace, were Poe Rava -- the extraordinary peacock colored pearl and Poe Konini -- the sculptural circled pearl.
Another myth says that Okana and Uaro - the spirits of Coral and Sand –both adorned Te Ufi with a glistening cloak that utilizing all the hues of every fish that swam the Polynesian seas. For Thousands of years the glory of the heavens has come to rest in the secret hollow of the iridescent mother-of-pearl, as a gift from the sky to the sea.
Another dreamy and romantic story about the Tahitian black pearl speaks of how the moon bathes the ocean with its light to attract the oysters. When they come to the ocean surface, the moon bestows heavenly dew upon each one of them. In time, the drop of heavenly dew is polished and shrouds itself in garments with blue, green, gold and pink shining in the colors of Tahitian pearls.
There are many myths and legends that attribute the black pearls with various powers from being a healer to cupid and even a gift of God. In ancient times, the Tahitian black pearl was a jewel worn only by royalty and hence came to be known as the Pearl of Queens and the Queen of Pearls.