About pearls. Akoya and freshwater pearls

Akoya pearls - The most common sea pearls in the world today, sometimes called "Japanese pearls". This pearl is characterized by unequalled lustre, especially appreciated in Western Europe. It got the name from the Japanese word Akoya - the name of oysters Pinctada fucata, in which it growths. As a result of hard work for several decades, Japanese entrepreneur Kokichi Mikimoto brought to the world cultured pearls.
The principle of pearl cultivating is to insert round bead made from shell inside an oyster. Once this bead-graft will be covered by nacre of oysters-host, the further task of the farmer is to remove the mature pearl from oyster in 12-48 months after nucleation. The process is simple in appearance, but the process of formation of high-quality pearls is very delicate. Up to 75% of "fertilized" molluscs do not give the harvest. Layer of nacre in Akoya pearl is not very thick - about 0,7 mm. Normally Akoya’s size does not exceed 8.5-9 mm in diameter, because the oyster itself is quite small and is not able to sustain big nucleus-seed.

Perfectly round, with sharp lustre, Akoya pearls remain a kind of high-end reference for cultured pearls.
However, Akoya pearls are cultivated in the South China Sea, not only Japanese water but also their neighbours, the Chinese ones.

Japanese pearls are considered more valuable than Chinese competitors. It is not only because of product’ features - the Chinese manufacturers have successfully reached a sufficiently high level of quality. It’s rather the issue of high cost of labour in Japan. Moreover, due to escalating industrial pollution, the Japanese firms have difficulties it getting good quality and volume of pearls harvest. No secret that Chinese pearls (as well as Myanmar’s, Indonesian’s etc)  are imported into Japan, passed through quality control, and sold out in bulk or in jewelleries as Japan-origin ... Very similar to electronics industry ...
Those who buy «made-in-Japan» pearl, please think twice ...

Prices of  necklaces from Akoya pearls 8-9 mm start from two thousand dollars, earrings stunds - from $ 150-200 and more. If are you willing to waive from the requirements of origin, you can buy necklace or bracelet much cheaper in our shop. If you compare our prices with other stores, then buy here, it will be more profitable despite the cost of courier delivery.

Non-dyed Akoya pearls can be in several colours: white, creamy, with slight yellow overtone, greyish.  Akoya pearls require more careful handling than fresh water ones: as well as their nacre is relatively thin, it can crack when pearl falls down or being bumped.

The dominance of monopoly-high priced Akoya pearls took place till mid last century, and several decades ago a trustworthy competitor entered the market - freshwater pearls, grown in shellfish Cristaria plicata, Hyriopsis cumingi, Hyriopsis cumingi, Hyriopsis schlegi.
Why did it previously stay it shadows? There were many reasons. One of them - the recent success in improving the technology of cultivation. Unlike Akoya pearls, material for the nucleation of freshwater pearls is not a solid bead, but and a piece of mantle (soft tissue) of mollusc. It is also subsequently overlaid with mother of pearl, like solid beads. This method has one bad feature for the manufacturer-seller and a few good ones. Good one is also good for buyer.

The "bad" point: unlike solid bead, a piece of implantable soft mantle is not perfectly round, thus formation of absolutely round pearls - a difficult task. Therefore the harvest contains a lot of circled, asymmetric pearls, oval-shaped, etc. Well, nature does not immediately (and not always) give us what we want. But patience and insistency make theirs job. A man should just be more exacting in the selection of pearls, for this one should know

strong features of freshwater pearls:
1.    Molluscs, which being used for freshwater pearls cultivation, are much larger than Akoya oysters. Size 20 x 30 cm makes possible to accommodate up to 40 implants, not 1-2 solid beads like Akoya! With potential like this, a lack of pearl harvest deficiency does not threat to mankind. Customers are proposed with many pearls to choose from.
2.    Conditions for cultivating freshwater pearls are more beneficial than for saltwater Akoya ones: temperature fluctuations, industrial pollution, earthquakes and tsunami do not have so significant impact on growth of freshwater pearls. Besides, the vast Chinese territories are beyond competition compare to Japan islands. Huge harvested areas – ponds and lakes, cheap labour force, less risk of harvest failure make possible reduction of pearls prices.
3.    Variety of colours. Usually Akoya pearls are treated to enhance their colour or lustre. Freshwater pearls can be also dyed in different colours: lavender, champagne, deep pink, purple, mauve, silver, brown, blue, cranberry, etc. The most extravagant dreams come true!
4.    Implanted mantle tissue breaks up, and therefore is replaced by nacre. Manufacturers of seedless freshwater pearls consider this as big advantage bead-nucleated saltwater pearls, saying it’s more "natural", compared to nucleated pearls, where artificial nucleus reaches up to 80% by volume.
Freshwater pearl is merely 100% nacre!
It is fair to note that this applies to pearls small and medium size - about 7 mm. There is a neat-handed multi-stage procedure by which nucleated freshwater pearl can be grown, which has the same nucleus inside, like Akoya pearls. "What is the difference and benefit?" - you ask.
The answer is
5. Modern technologies allow to cultivate very big freshwater pearls - up to 12,5 mm in diameter (normally the Akoya pearls don’t exceed 9 mm in diameter). For such huge pearl ancient Romans gave 10 million sesterces. Converted to modern money, it's more than 2 million dollars!
Impressive? Such pearls and jewelleries  you can buy here. At what price? Take a look into catalogue!

If you do not find in our catalogue what you’re looking for, contact us. Some models come to us in single copies, and we do not offer them online. Others - exclusive ordered articles - we ship duplicated. Maybe this is what you are seeking?

If not, we will deliver your desirable product by mutual satisfaction!

 

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