Japanese Akoya Cultured Pearls
the classic pearl
La japanese akoya pearl is the saltwater cultured pearl of the Akoya oyster, the Pinctada Fucata Martensii. The akoya pearls They were the first to start growing. The Akoya is considered the classic pearl with a almost perfect round shape, a very intense brightness and neutral colors.
Akoya Pearls from Japan are the ideal choice if you are looking for a classic pearl necklace, bracelet or earrings. They are very elegant pearls that, due to their not too large size, can be used both daily and at any event.
Until the late 90s, Akoya pearls were the most popular pearls in the world. With the improvement in quality of freshwater pearls and their cheaper price, they were gaining ground, but even so today Akoya pearls are the ideal option for anyone looking for more exclusive pearls with a unique shine.
A good Akoya pearl necklace is to jewelry what a good black bag is to clothes, a basic that can be used in countless situations and that never goes out of style.Discover all our designs with Akoya pearls here!
How valuable are Akoya pearls?
Unlike the mussels that create freshwater pearls, oysters from akoya pearls they rarely produce more than two pearls per harvest. Oysters include a round mother of pearl core and a small piece of tissue from the mantle of a donor oyster. This small core is the reason why Akoya pearls are often so round. This shape, combined with the high brilliance of premium Akoya pearls, and their relative rarity compared to freshwater pearls, give Akoya pearls a higher value.
Compared with the australian or tahiti, the Akoya are the cheapest of these three saltwater pearls, due to the greater size and scarcity of the former. However, as we discussed in this other article, the value does not only depend on the origin, the quality of the pearls in question also matters, so this is merely a guide.
En Secret & YouWe only offer very high quality Akoya pearls, personally chosen by our pearl expert. Since Akoya are per se a more exclusive product, we believe that it makes no sense to offer our customers lower quality Akoya pearls, when they could buy our freshwater pearls instead, which are of excellent quality and price and exceed in beauty to those other Akoya of inferior quality.
Sizes, shapes and colors
Pinctada Fucata Martensii, the Akoya pearl oyster from 1 month to 3 years, with Akoya pearls
Where do Akoya pearls come from?
Akoya pearls are currently cultured in Japan China and, to a lesser extent, in Vietnam, Thailand and Australia. The vast majority of the world's Akoya pearls are produced in Japan, which is the undisputed center of Akoya pearl production and is therefore known as Japanese cultured pearls. China was once a real power, but Typhoon Paboo destroyed much of China's Akoya industry in 2007.
A little history of the Akoya Pearl
In 1908 he was granted a patent for the first and only method of growing round pearls in history.
Akoya pearl strand with its characteristic mirror shine.
By 1916 Mikimoto was already farming Akoya pearls in a standardized way by opening several farms in different locations.
The success of Mikimoto pearls was so great that they became a symbol of Japanese pride. However, outside of Japan, the world lived on the sidelines of this discovery and remained focused on the trade in natural pearls. The great natural pearl merchants were not delighted with Mikimoto's discovery and even took it to court, since, according to them, it was an imitation as it was the result of human intervention. However, the resistance was short-lived and in 1926 at the first international jewelry congress the name "cultured pearl" was recognized and adopted. Since then all the pearls produced with human intervention, are named like this.
By 1938 Mikimoto already had stores all over the world and had more than 350 farms that produced almost 10 million pearls per harvest. The popularity of pearls did not stop growing, but an event shook the industry and the entire world, the Second World War.
After World War II, much of the Mikimoto industry was devastated and production went from almost 10 million in 38 to just 400.000 in 1946. However, the American forces that occupied Japan began to show interest and asked that they return. to produce pearls, the condition was that they only be sold to the American Central Supply Office. Many of the American soldiers returned to the United States with Akoya pearl necklaces and the popularity of pearls grew again.
Mikimoto died in 1954 at the age of 96, according to himself, his longevity was favored by swallowing a pearl a day for much of his old age.
After his death, the industry continued to develop, reaching more than 1961 farms in Japan in 4500.
From 1961 to today, the industry has experienced many changes and the popularity of other types of pearls, such as freshwater pearls, has affected, however, Akoya pearls continue to be the medium-sized round pearl par excellence.