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I'm afraid I won't be much help, Emdee. I did see shell necklaces but I think the selection was very similar from port to port. You've probably seen them all before. The Gauguines always wore the best stuff, so maybe they will spill their source! I actually thought the vendors on MM had some lovely bracelets and necklaces. I don't remember seeing anything unique at Fakarava. There were a few vendors at the tender pier who had some inexpensive shell items but I only remember the very expensive black pearls! As you probably know, Robert Wan has a pearl farm on Fakarava where he keeps the largest black pearl he has ever cultivated. You can get in for a look but it's not for sale!
Robert Wan....my DD loves his stuff. He has a stored at the Intercontinental in Tahiti or used to have one. Did you get any of the pearls?
I have been boldly stating at home that this time ALL I shall bring back are unique shell necklaces so that is what I shall look for. I have a couple of pieces from the Intercontinental Moorea and a small shop in Moorea that I think are stunning. Also a lovely carved shell from ATN which even the Gauguinnes loved.
I have brought back a few loose pearls and keishi pearls over the years and had them set into jewellery along with gold/white gold and diamonds but last time I fell in love with a complete strand with every colour of the peacock right on board the ship. So no more pearls for me though I dont think DH believes me!
Its hard to find shell necklaces that are both authentic looking yet contemporary!
No pearls from Wan (since the biggie wasn't for sale ) but I did get a cute necklace at the pearl farm that we visited on the PG Tahaa shore excursion. It's very casual but I love it - 3 black pearls, all different color, on a leather band with a pearl closure in the back. Next time, I'll be like you and go for the good stuff!
Good luck with your resolve to not buy any more pearls. But I'm siding with your DH.