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Pearl Education - Please enter your jewelry question or comment. > Japanese Akoya Cultured Pearls

Kokichi Mikimoto and Mikimoto Pearls
08-25-2010, 09:49 AM

Many pearl enthusiasts often ask about pearl necklaces and where these pearls come from. Mikimoto is responsible for popularizing the cultured pearl. Please read below to learn more about this.

Mikimoto Kokichi's became enamored with pearls at a very young age. Living by the sea as a little boy, Mikimoto sold vegetables to support his family. Each day he would watch the local pearl divers unloading their harvests of valuables on the shore at dusk. The mirror like quality of the high luster pearl cast a spell on the young and enterprising Mikimoto. These formative years along the shorelines marked the beginning of his eternal fascination and quest to harvest the perfect pearl.

As soon as he gathered enough money, he partnered up with his wife to buy his first pearl farm. Mikimoto was able to combine his business acumen along with his knowledge of pearls to combine the best elements of several recently patented developments related to the new technology of cultured pearls. After more than a decade of failures and missteps, his resiliency paid off as he was able to fully cultivate completely round pearls that were identical to the highest quality natural ones. This involved the inserting pieces of oyster mantle tissue into a bead nucleus of shell or other hardened bead like material leading to the creation of a pearl sack. The sack would ultimately produce the key ingredient of nacre or the skin of the pearl. This allowed Mikimoto to produce high nacre, thick skinned pearls that were round, clean, and of the highest luster. The perfect pearl had been culitvated and harvested to perfection and the Mikimoto business expanded and an empire was born.
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Mikimoto Million Dollar Necklace
12-31-2010, 08:52 AM

Mikimoto recently advertised their million dollar pearl necklace, a stunning South Sea piece pictured below:

I found this description in an online Haute Living article:
"The strand features South Sea cultured pearls – all of which are AAA quality – and a diamond-studded clasp. Want more details? Alright, alright. Here they are.

The pearls – 27 of them in total – are a sight to behold, as each measures 5.06 X 17.24 mm in diameter, and take more than ten years to complete. The clasp, oval in shape and art deco in design, features 11.92 carats of diamonds, the perfect addition to this fantastic piece of jewelry."

Fantastic indeed, and truly stunning!
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