Pearl Royalty

Nearly two decades ago, the Cultured Pearl Information Center introduced the Pearl Princess program, which crowned one young woman as pearl royalty in an effort to promote the gems around the world.

That program has been defunct for more than 10 years but, in a new initiative that echoes the past, Perles de Tahiti has crowned a 19-year-old beauty the first Tahitian Pearl Ambassadress.

“The ambassadress will make appearances at promotional events locally and overseas on behalf of the Tahitian cultured pearl,” Tahiti Pearl Market spokesman Jean-François Dilhan said in a statement. “We took the initiative of organizing this event because it’s been several years that we have regretted that it has not been done by other organizations.”

The new Ambassadress is Nancy Morgan, who will spend the next year officially representing Tahiti’s gem in promotional appearances. She was chosen from among 13 women who competed for the title, $3,300 prize, free jewelry, and monthly paycheck for a year.

Morgan is fluent in English, which will help her as she travels the world in a sash covered with 1,000 Tahitian cultured pearls.

Glen Tehaamatai, the general manager of Tahiti Pearl Market—a store in Papeete, Tahiti, that sells loose Tahitian pearls—organized the Tahitian Pearl Ambassadress election with the support of the French Polynesia Sea Ministry and Perles de Tahiti, the Papeete-based trade organization that promotes Tahitian pearls worldwide.