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Mikimoto Pearls

Thursday, 29 January 2009

mikimoto pearlsMikimoto pearls are believed to be hanadama, or «flower pearls», which stands for the highest quality pearls. The factors determining the beauty in a pearl include color and shape and smoothness of surface, but also luster, and that unexplained quality known as 'nacre thickness', or the thickness of the pearl layers. For MIKIMOTO, the capacity to create quality is based on evaluation standards refined through the course of the firm's history. A tiny pearl does not look as jewelry as such, though it always attracts the attention. Their beauty is so perfect that it is beyond people’s perception and comprehension. With his keen, inborn sense of beauty, Kokichi Mikimoto was the most excited of jewelers, a man who devoted his life to the cultured pearls and pearl jewelry that he loved and set his hopes upon.

Edison said to Kokichi that his pearls weren't cultured pearl, but they were "real pearls". Kokichi revealed high designer ideas and techniques in making pearls. His works are art works, and like an artist, he always tried his best to be outstanding and perfect. Moreover, he burnt thousands of imperfect pearls in 1932 trying to come to the standard of high beauty and quality. Currently Mikimoto Company takes various actions to create pearls of high quality, outstanding design, demonstrating crafts and polish.

How cultured pearls are produced

A natural pearl is produced when a small irritant or parasite penetrates and lodges in the mantle tissue of a mollusk. Unseen nacre is created, it initiates formation of pearls, while crystalline and organic substances are formed in layers to protect the mollusk it surrounds the irritant after some years.

A cultured pearl is created artificially by introducing a foreign body into an oyster or clam shell to attract layers of mother pearl around it. The basic difference between the natural pearl and cultured pearl formation is natural pearls are formed unintentionally, while several procedures are required to make a cultured pearl, yet the incentive is made by humans.

Mikimoto grading systems

Mikimoto's experts apply these internationally standards in selecting only the finest pearls. They perceive the minute individual differences that make each pearl unique, taking great care and at times going to incredible lengths to ensure the ideal matching, considering color, luster and other factors in forming harmonious settings.

AAA and AAA1 have the extraordinary, mirror-like reflective luster and AAA surface is blemish free, while the AAA1surface is modestly blemished.

AA, AA1 have the excellent clear reflective luster and AA surface is very slightly blemished but AA1 surface is slightly stained.

A+ and A+1 have the quality clear reflection. Their surfaces are similar to the AA and AA1.

Various types of Mikimoto pearls

Akoya pearls are produced in Japan in the Akoya oysters, sizes within 2-10 mm, colors are white cream, pink, green, silver and gold.

Mikimoto pearls from Black South Sea are of various colors like light-grey, silver and midnight black to different types of green. And also pink and blue colors come to complete the row of pearls. These pearls have some brilliant appearance of rainbow colors the same we see on the peacock's tail feathers. This type of pearls is cultured in Tahiti and Okinawa. It's cultured in black lipped oysters, and it takes dozen harvest years to collect pearls of equivalent size, shape and color.

South Sea Mikimoto pearls have slightly opalescent look to change at various angle of light. they are available in various shapes, perfectly rounded or oval, or like tear drops, sized 9mm to 19mm.

The color of South Golden pearls range from light champagne to deep opulent gold. They come as round, oval, teardrop shapes sized 9mm and more.

That is interesting that 10 to 14 pearls in one mussel can be cultured in lakes and rivers of China.

Freshwater pearls look like grains.

Identifying Mikimoto pearls


As for cultured pearls, each one of them is unique. Simply five factors act significant for quality of pearls. Luster is light reflected from the surface of pearls. Nacre quality in cultured pearls will improve the overall luster. Only the highest quality pearls with the best luster carry the Mikimoto name. Although tiny marks found on pearls are part of their natural texture and are proof of the genuineness of a cultured pearl, a pearl is more valuable when the surface spots are less. Pearls come in a wide spectrum of colors. Basic colors include cream, gray, green, blue and pink. Although many shapes are available, perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable.

Generally, the size of the pearl affects the price. It is obvious that large pearls are more difficult to cultivate because of the large size of the implanted nucleus. There is an increased likelihood that the oyster will reject the nucleus. Pearls are measured in diameter increments of millimeters (mm).

For the Mikimoto standard "M" is used in clamshell or oyster shell. These specific symbols are used by only Mikimoto pearls from the beginning. You can find the M sign on the back of clasps of necklaces and bracelets engraved.

How to care of the pearls

Heat can destroy natural color of pearls, so never keep it exposed to direct sunlight or high temperature. Detergent and vinegar can be harmful for pearls so when you do some house work, be careful, as well as when you bathe, swim or take shower.

Brilliant luster of pearl can fade with the sweat, perspiration and grease cells excreted by the skin. So be careful when wearing pearls. Yet, apply gentle cleaning means which is safe for pearls. To remove the dirt use tiny drop of olive oil, and dry it with a cloth.

Pearls are organic and irresistible to acids and humidity, so the perfume, hairsprays or cosmetic with the above components might be harmful for your pearls. Shetland wool is also bad for pearls.

Never hang the pearl to dry in air. Keep the pearl in a separate box apart from the other jewelry, moreover, the box should be made from soft material not to scratch and spoil the pearls. Mikimoto insurance

Since Mikimoto Company offers its works for high prices, it offers the insurance as well. The jewelry insurance includes some funds (equal to replacement value) to purchase the same jewelry if the previous is lost. The replacement value would be the same as the current price for the jewel. To get the resell value, you need your jewel to be appraised by Mikimoto specialist, and it depends on the state of your precious piece, taking in mind that pearls change a lot with time.

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jacqueline  - Mikimoto peal necklace old   |2009-05-14 21:55:25
I was given pearl necklace with old leather oval mikimoto case, lusterious pearl of cream and about 6-6.5 and 18-22"length. I think my grandmother had them restrung and clasp has no M on it, but is in 18k gold. Is there no way to tell they are Mikimoto now? Appraisal will be of low quality?
Audrey Winters  - BUYER   |2009-09-04 22:58:04
In this tight ecomony, I am still thrilled that Mikimoto has kept its refined and elegant beauty, I itend on purchasing the LACE RING for my engagement ring, which will be for Holloween, as our second time around I wanted a LEGEND to start the magic.
My husband to be is a EMS DIVER and has traveled the world wide, and remembers visiting the original store owned by Mikimoto and was enchanted, as I know I will be, can you email me an array of rings? although My heart is set on the Lace Ring, you never know.
Bless you all for the dedication,
Audrey and Ben
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