Mikimoto is renowned for its luxurious and elegant pearl jewellery and their high quality and unique creations are stunning designs which you are bound to fall in love with. Their jewellery is the epitome of feminine sophistication and to own or gift one of their beautiful pieces is a truly luxurious feeling. The premium designs include classic strands strung with fine silk, as well as unique diamond and gemstone pieces.
“I would like to adorn the necks of all the women of the world with pearls”
When Kokichi Mikimoto’s homeland of Japan experienced increased foreign trade in the 1800’s, natural pearls became more treasured than ever and soon were over-harvested to the point of extinction. This is where Mikimoto’s lifelong passion began and he started to devise a way of enticing the oysters to create pearls. This idea developed and he became the creator of the worlds first cultured pearl.
After many years of several attempts and failures, Mikimoto developed a cultivation process which lead to his name becoming renowned around the world. Firstly, the baby oysters – spats – are matured for around two years. After maturation, the imperative task of inserting an irritant begins. This is known as the nucleation. A round bead composed of pig toe shell is inserted manually into the mature oyster along with a piece of mantle tissue. The mantle tissue stimulates the oyster to create a pearl sac around the bead which is where the silvery nacre is formed. The oysters are then returned to the sea where they are submerged in baskets and hung from rafts. The oysters are meticulously cared for and relocated several times a year to protect them and keep them clean. Over time, the pearl sac continues to secrete layers of smooth nacre around the bead. After 1 to 3 years of cultivation, the oyster is opened and ideally produces a beautiful lustrous pearl.
After the cultivation process, only the most immaculate pearls are selected to be used within Mikimoto jewellery. Mikimoto created a unique grading system of pearls from A1 to AAA quality. This ensures that only the finest lustre and richest of colours are present in their jewellery and results in only the top 5% of the harvest being used. Mikimoto made his dedication and ambition clear to the world by burning thousands of poor quality pearls.
“I would rather destroy a pearl than sell one of inferior quality”
As well as perfecting the cultivation process, Mikimoto is also known for its exquisite jewellery designs, which are made to the highest standard. Using only the upmost quality of diamonds, gemstones and precious metals, Mikimoto creates the perfect designs to host their exquisite pearls. To complete their creations, the staple trademark ‘M’ is added to the jewellery, signifying the most superior quality.
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