Akoya Japanese Pearls
Akoya Japanese Pearls enter the city of Kobe, Japan for processing after being harvested on Japanese pearl farms.
Did you know that to find 47 nearly perfectly matching pearls for a 16" necklace sorters often search 10,000 pearls?
Well matched Akoya pearl necklaces, prized for their uniformity of appearance often become cherished heirlooms, which can be passed down for generations.
Each pearl is unique...just like people, it takes skill and patience to match pearls according to brilliance, size, shape and color.
A big responsibility for quality akoya pearls lies with the pearl drillers. One slip can ruin a valuable pearl.
The wholesale Japanese pearls market can exceed $5,000,000,000 per year.
To maintain the akoya pearls reputation of quality (Mikimoto set a good example for quality), Japanese pearl export requires each strand of pearls to go through rigorous inspection, before leaving the shores of Japan.
I ran into a pearl driller on the early morning subway train into downtown Tokyo the last time I was in Japan. We ended up nose to nose, literally, and started chatting. I was thrilled to meet her and she was also very interested in the fact that I owned my own pearl company.
Did you know that in some countries akoya pearls are referred to as "Mikimoto" pearls? This "threw me for a loop" when I was in the Philippines and shopping for pearls. It took me awhile to catch on to the real meaning of the sales girls' descriptions of their pearls. Also, shapes often give pearls their names in other countries, like the shape of their bread,etc, becomes the name of a shape of pearl. It's always interesting to learn these differences.
There is often an over generalization about these pearls. You might want to keep that in mind if purchasing pearls overseas.
Go to main Akoya Japanese pearls page.
Japan Pearls Page after Akoya Japanese Pearls.