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Our Story

Moana Gems takes pride in being a company owned and staffed by Cook Islanders helping to sustain Cook Islands pearl farming families. Cook Islands Black pearls are cultured in the remote and pristine lagoon of Manihiki in our Northern Group islands with a population of approximately 400 people for whom pearl farming is their lifeblood.

Moana Gems is owned by Jackie Tuara and Raymond Newnham and over the last 25 years they have been involved in every aspect of the Cook Islands Pearl Industry. In 1986 Raymond moved back to Manihiki with his family to begin their family pearl farm (one of the countries pioneering families in the pearl industry) and was joined by Jackie in 1991. After moving to Rarotonga some years later Raymond and Jackie set up Ora Moana Ltd  in 1997 initially focusing on wholesaling Cook Islands pearls internationally. Being creative and having an eye for beautiful things it was inevitable that a retail outlet selling these treasured pieces of Cook Islands pearl jewellery would follow. Moana Gems was established in 1999 becoming a sister company to their wholesale business Ora Moana Ltd.

Moana Gems is passionate about Cook Islands black pearls and every purchase is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity so you are guaranteed that every black pearl purchased from Moana Gems is not imported, is not treated or enhanced in anyway, and is definitely a Cook Islands black pearl.

With their extensive knowledge of the Cook Islands Pearl Industry Jackie & Raymond are more than happy to answer any questions and queries customers may have regarding Cook Islands Black pearls.

Jackie has a passion for Cook Islands dance and in 2006 art work depicting Cook Islands Dance by Judith Kunzle graced the walls of their retail business. In order to display pearl jewellery and Cook Islands art to their best advantage, Jackie & Raymond took the leap in 1999 to renovate what was once a café to create a Gallery that would provide the perfect atmosphere for beautiful pearl jewellery surrounded by Cook Islands art. Four artists are featured at the gallery.

Moana Gems Pearl & Art Gallery is located in Uptown Avarua.


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