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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.

Double necklace of Japanese Akoya pearls
Japanese Akoya Pearl Double Necklace

Sizes, shapes and colors

An interesting fact is that the Akoya oyster is the smallest oyster farmed for pearl production. The average size of a akoya pearl It is only 7 mm, while the average size of an Australian is around 12 mm. Akoya pearls are currently being cultured in sizes as small as 1mm to some very rare exceptions of 10-11mm.

Akoya pearls are mostly nearly round, although each harvest produces a percentage of baroque and keshi pearls, which have the intense luster common to Akoya, but a shape and appearance reminiscent of Australian baroque or freshwater pearls. Akoya pearls, unless treated with dyes, are of neutral colors and tones. Most pearls range from white to gray in color, with secondary shades of pink, green, or silver. Sometimes some bluish with silver and pink hues appear, but these colors are extremely rare. Black Akoya pearls can also be found, thanks to radiation treatment with cobalt-60 or with an organic dye.

Japanese akoya pearl oysters

Pinctada Fucata Martensii, the Akoya pearl oyster from 1 month to 3 years, with Akoya pearls

How is an Akoya pearl grown?

Unlike freshwater pearls, oysters from akoya pearls they rarely produce more than two pearls per harvest. Oysters include a 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 practically 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 perceived value.

Japanese akoya pearl in its shell

 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 pearls. China was once a real power, but Typhoon Paboo all but destroyed China's Akoya industry in 2007.

Japanese akoya pearl strands

Akoya pearl strand with its characteristic mirror shine.



Other types of cultured pearls