Gemstone Nucleation Legalized in French Polynesia

Gemstone Nucleation Legalized in French Polynesia.

Changes to cultivation regulations by the French Polynesian government allow Galatea: Jewelry by Artist to resume production of patented Galatea Pearl in Tahitian waters.

French Polynesia’s pearl cultivation laws have been revised to allow nucleation using precious or semi-precious gemstone beads. Previously, only beads made from bivalve mollusks could be legally used in pearl culturing.

The amendment, made public in early March, directly effects the cultivation of the Galatea Pearl™. The Galatea Pearl, formerly known as the Mercy Pearl, is a patented cultured pearl enucleated with a semi-precious gemstone bead and hand-carved to expose the gemstone beneath the nacre. Chi Huynh, holder of the patent and founder of Galatea: Jewelry by Artist of San Dimas, California, says that the new ruling will allow him to immediately export approximately 6,000 Galatea Pearls, grown in Tahitian waters, that have been restricted for export since 2006.

“I’d like to thank the French Polynesian government, particularly President Gaston Tong Sang, for the understanding and vision to bring positive change to the pearl cultivation industry,” says Huynh. Galatea will resume pearl cultivation in South Polynesia immediately.
Galatea also cultivates the Galatea Pearl in the waters off the coast of Vietnam. Production there is expected to increase over the next few years, says Huynh. The first crop of Vietnamese-grown Galatea Pearls were harvested in late summer with 10,000 pearls and the company hopes to harvest four times that amount later this year.

A painter, poet and humanitarian, Huynh founded Galatea in 1994. He learned the jewelry
trade by apprenticing for his father, one of Viet Nam’s most respected jewelers. Today, Galatea manufactures both in the U.S. and Viet Nam and sells to approximately 1500 retail jewelers throughout the United States. The company also has distribution in both Europe and Asia.

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