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Jean-Claude Brouillet
The black pearl

es perles noires de Marutea, Tahiti
Les perles noires de Marutea sont les plus belles et les plus réputées dans le monde. C'est bien l'avis de Shiro Yashmura, le chef technicien japonais

After failing trying to build an airline in Corsica, Jean-Claude lost most of his money. It is his longtime friend, Gabonese President Omar Bongo (who used to hop in his plane when he was still a kid) that will bring him back home to Gabon in order to turn the country's airline around.

And he will. Once again hard work and spirit will bring success. And when everything will be working well, the same old question will come back to haunt him: "Now what?"

Récolte de perles noires à Marutea
Ma première récolte de perles noires.

This time Jean-Claude's dreams will take him all the way to the Pacific Islands of French Polynesia. His new hotels in Tahiti are an overnight success and he rapidly drifts toward a new adventure: black pearl culture.

We are in the middle of the '70, and the Tahitian Black Pearl is virtually unknown. That, however, is a detail for Jean-Claude. And when he has a dream, there a no limits. To start his pearl culture, he buys an island 10 hours from Papeete by plane: Marutea, literally "The man who comes from far away" in Tahitian.

Le Grand bijoutier de New-York Salvator Assaël
Mon ami Salvator Assaël, le magicien.

On this paradise island he installs a village and creates a small community where everybody lives in harmony and works hard to produce the world's most beautiful pearls. It will take him time, a few years, to finally obtain satisfying harvests.

Now that he has pearls, he must sell them. It is not only a question of profit; it is a matter of survival. Faithful in his dream, Jean-Claude invested all his fortune in this adventure. It is the privilege of very few to ride their dreams to the end of everything, and good fortune likes daring souls.

After being turned down by jewelers in Paris, New York, Milan and Tokyo, Jean-Claude's last card brings him - through an old acquaintance met on a cruise boat many years ago - to Salvator Assael, one of the world's most respected pearl traders.

Together, they will popularize the black pearl and make it the most precious and sought after pearl in the world. And fortune is again knocking at the door...

What an adventure he had with his Tahitian friends, between the calm of crystal blue lagoons and the devastating fury of tornadoes. Once again, friendship reigns supreme in Jean-Claude's world.

These uncommon adventures are related in his excellent book: "L'île aux perles noires" (available only in French for the moment).

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Last updated: 2004-01-06