The Lustrous Akoya Pearl
The Akoya pearl is a saltwater cultured pearl from the Akoya oyster (Pinctada Fucata Martensii).The vast majority of these pearls are cultured in Japan. Due to the cooler water and other specific conditions in these waters, the Akoya Pearl tend to be round, smooth and highly lustrous, often with beautiful overtones in pink or green. But it can also be very white.
Japan’s presence in the international pearl market began in 1907. A team led by Kokichi Mikimoto became the first to successfully cultivate pearls. They inserted a round bead and a small piece of tissue into a Pinctada Fucata Martensii oyster. The result was a small, round pearl with stunning lustre. Today, the pinkish-white, identically sized, round pearls that you probably think of as the classic strand of pearls are most likely Akoya cultured pearls.
High quality pearls are very durable, but proper care is necessary to keep them beautiful. Firstly, they actually benefit from wearing them at least semi-often. Pearls were originally born in the water and benefit immensely from absorbing the oils that your skin naturally secrets throughout the day. So show them that you care by wearing them! But they are sensitive when it comes to chemical substances like perfumes, hairspray and makeup since they will eat holes in the pearl nacre. And they need moisture, if the environment is too dry, the pearls may eventually crack.
In addition to the exceptional lustre, smoothness and roundness, the Akoya Oyster tend to produce only one or two pearls, while freshwater oysters often can produce well over 20 pearls per harvest. These factors all make the Akoya Pearl exclusive and precious.