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Robert Wan or the emperor of black pearls

Work stakhanovist, women lover and pearl emperor, Robert Wan has been for decades a pioneer in the pearl culture.

In French Polynesia, Robert Wan is the second most famous person after the president. A man who started with nothing and managed to build an empire with own hands. A pair of passionate hands who met the right person at the right time, and worked his life to keep his company running and perduring.

Robert Wan, 84, who is still the head of the company but appointed his son Bruno and grandson Richard to manage the family group.

The pearl farms are located 1700 kilometers away from Tahiti in the Gambier archipelagos. The climate temperature, quality of the water and current conditions allowed Wan to harvest close to perfection the pearl oyster known as the Pinctada Margarifitera. By establishing his farms in this part of the Pacific, Robert Wan’s pearls are noticeable for their colors. Ranging from deep grey to turquoise, peacock or aubergine, Robert Wan manages this way to get the most beautiful and largest black pearls.

The experience of pearl farmers combined to the experience of Robert Wan in his selection process guarantee the best quality. The knowledge he was able to acquire over the years led him to cultivate, harvest and export the pearl culture.

Back in the seventies when Wan first started, he met with Mikimoto who agreed to buy his first harvest and the following ones… if the pearls where meeting the famous Japanese jeweler’s standards.

Since a word is a word, it has been over 40 years that Mikimoto has been trusting Robert Wan’s work. All of Mikimoto’s black pearls come from French Polynesia directly from Robert Wan’s farms.

Meeting in Japan with a pearl expert who worked closely with Mikimoto whom he introduced to his grandson, Kichimatsu Mikimoto. Later that year he buys the company Tahiti Pearls to William Reed and starts developing the pearl culture soon to become his empire.
1974
Robert Wan’s first harvest is entirely bought by Mikimoto considering that his pearls were top quality.
1977
Acquirement of the Polynesian atoll Marutea Sud in the Gambier Archipelagos to install his pearl farms in addition to the few farms he has in the Tuamoto Archipelagos.
1984
First pearl auction in Hong Kong the same year the Pearl Museum opened in Tahiti: first and only museum in the world dedicated to the pearl culture.
1998
Decorated as a Chevalier de la Légion Française.
2000
Robert Wan Tahiti has 15 branded stores in the world including Paris, Shanghai, Doha and Dubai in addition to the ones in French Polynesia.
2015