Black Pearls, Bora-Bora
There was a special phone at our hotel to call BPC for a free visit. They pick you up and bring you back.
We had a short guided tour of the pearl farm, showing the various steps of pearl making. The visit, of course, ends up in the shop where you can buy pearls and jewels... But on the whole it was quite interesting, even if their first aim is rather selling you something than showing you around ;-)
The shop is run by two guys named Steve who are knowledgeable and helpful. I spent quite some time looking at many loose pearls before making a purchase. You know, the pearls are not at all black, they are just called that because of the black oysters they come from. When you hold a bunch of pearls in your hand it's a rainbow of color! I recommend selecting a loose pearl and having them simply set it as a pendant(that was only an extra $20 or so). Cuts the cost considerably.
What to buy: Black Pearls
What to pay: Well, pearls are not cheap and the prices vary. The rounder and more perfect, the more expensive the pearl. Also, the uniqueness of the color matters.
This is a tip for women only :-). Buy a Tahitian Black Pearl. You can find several shops on the island.