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Cultured pearl history begins with Akoya pearls over 100 years ago in Japan; Mikimoto Kokichi successfully cultured the first Mabe pearl in 1893. However, the first patent for culturing round pearls was given to a Japanese carpenter named Tatsuhei Mise and a biologist named Tokichi Nishikawa, known as the Mise-Nishikawa technique. The secrets to pearl culturing was a long kept secret known only by master grafters in few Japanese families. Since this time, pearl techniques have improved. Cultured farming now produce more productive harvests and protect the akoya oysters survival. Although they were once thought to fade away after freshwater pearlshit the market, they are still strong as ever in their market presents due to their unmatched luster. Due to this high quality luster, akoya pearls have been segmented into different pearl grades specialize to their luster. Akoya pearls are classic look versus Tahitian Black Pearls are the exotic pearls. When you think of classic pearls, you think akoya.
Akoya pearls are mostly found in Japan but can be found in China and Vietnam as well. Pearls from different regions show different characteristics due to difference in the environment, such as water temperature. The name Akoya comes from the Akoya Oyster in Japan. These oysters are smaller than other types of mollusks that commonly produce other types of pearls.
Akoya pearls require a two-part nucleation process. Inside is place of small mantle tissue from a donor oyster as well as a small round mother of pearl bead from another donor oyster. After 1 to 1.5 years of waiting, these oysters will hopefully produce beautiful Pearls. However, it is common to for oysters to die without producing any pearls at all due to the harsh conditions of the ocean and many predators in the waters. From the oysters that produce pearls, only a small percentage are suitable for high quality jewelry that is carried by Kyllonen. If the oysters produce a high quality pearl, they are cultured for a 2nd time.
The most common sizes range from 3mm to 10mm. Pearls smaller than 6mm are commonly referred to as baby Akoya and can be used in beautiful jewelry arrangements.
The most common colors for Akoya pearls are: white, yellow, and blueish silver.
Yellow colored pearls are usually cheaper than white, but can, on occassion be higher in value. Blue Pearls are usually more expense due to the rarity and unqiue beauty.
In addition to main colors, pearl also have a secondary color usulayy called a color modifier or overtone. The most common overtones are pink and green, sometimes both pink and green overtones are present to achieve a rare beauty. The most sought after pearls are usually white with a pink/green overtone.
Akoya pearls are valued for they long history and tradition. Buying Akoya pearls brings you into that tradition of excellence. In addition, Akoya pearls have unmatched luster, which produce sharp mirror like reflection. This is one of the most valuable features of pearls. Smaller size pearls are also considered both youthful and elegance, showing a refined taste.
Akoya pearls are the classic pearl most commonly worn by celebrities all over the world and common in smaller, elegant sizes. These small sizes give it the versatility to match numerous jewelry designs.
Akoya pearls will always be regarded as a must have pearl regardless of the rise in popularity of other pearl types. Akoya pearls represent, elegance, class, and sophistication.