Japanese akoya pearls
Akoya pearls appeared and became known all over the world thanks to the Japanese explorer Kokichi Mikimoto. At the beginning of the 20th century, he was able to grow a pearl in a shell. For this he used the bivalve oyster of the Akoya-kai variety. Hence the name of the pearl.
Cultured pearls are not inferior to natural ones, since it is not so important where the grain of sand appears in the shell, around which the pearl appears – through the efforts of specialists or quite by accident.
How are Akoya pearls grown?
The molluscs in which the Akoya pearls are grown reach a size of 8 centimeters. They can grow pearls with a diameter of 6-8 millimeters. Sometimes there are also larger specimens. Most pearls are grown on the islands of Honshu and Kyushu, in addition to being cultivated in Ago Bay.
Mother of pearl envelops the pearl faster in the warm season. In cold weather, the metabolic processes of the mollusk are much slower and the layers of nacre are thinner as a result. The thinner the layers and the greater their number, the more the pearl shines. Therefore, the best time to collect pearls is considered to be after the coldest months of the year.
It usually takes specialists from one and a half to three years to grow a pearl in a shell. At the moment, pearls are cultivated in large quantities in China, Vietnam, Australia, nevertheless, Japanese pearls are rightfully considered an example of excellent quality.
What determines the price of Akoya pearls?
The value of pearls is judged by taking into account several factors: shape, size, color, luster and quality of mother-of-pearl. If an individual pearl has the highest performance in all these criteria, it is called Hanadama in Japan.
The most valuable pearls are considered to be spherical in shape with a pronounced luster. Most often, akoya pearls are white, cream or pink in color. There are pearls with a shade of champagne, silvery and even green.
jewellery with Akoya pearls is often chosen by show business stars, first ladies and Hollywood actresses.