A Guide to Pearls

The Mikimoto Brand Is Synonymous With the World’s Finest Quality Cultured Pearls in History

Akoya Pearls

Sought after for their breathtaking sheen and sumptuous hues, Akoya pearls are produced by the Pinctada Fucata Martensiii mollusk, or the Akoya pearl oyster. Mikimoto Kōkichi chose this oyster to produce the world’s first cultured pearls. Today they range in size from 3-10mm, and colors from white to cream, with overtones of rosé, blue, silver, and pale green. Though already of high quality, fewer than 5% of harvested Akoya pearls meet Mikimoto’s standards for creating jewelry of exceptional beauty and elegance. Akoya pearls are the quintessential pearl, classic and timeless.

Black South Sea Pearls

Also known as Tahitian pearls, they are prized for their rarity, visual depth and natural exotic colors. Though typically identified as black, these dark, opulent pearls range in color from mirror-like gray to midnight black, with iridescent overtones of silver, rosé, dark moss, aubergine, cobalt and peacock. Produced by Pinctada Margaritifera, or Black-lipped oysters, sizes begin at 8mm and vary in shape, including round, oval, teardrop, or baroque. Black South Sea pearls exude modern sophistication and mysterious elegance.

White South Sea Pearls

Reaching up to 22mm in diameter, these magnificent, satiny pearls have a subdued opalescence that subtly shifts with lighting and movement. Produced by the Pinctada Maxima, also known as the Silver-lipped South Sea oyster, their rarity is due to the sensitive, difficult to cultivate nature of this species, found in deep, offshore waters. With a minimum harvest size of 9mm, shapes vary from round and oval, to teardrop and organic baroque. White South Sea pearls are the ultimate statement of classic style and luxury.

Golden South Sea Pearls

Much like their white cousins, these stunning pearls are produced by the Golden-lipped varietal of the Pinctada Maxima. Their deep, rich luster ranges from light champagne to a mesmerizing gold, more rare than its precious metal namesake. They also have a minimum harvest size of 9mm, with shapes varying from round and oval, to teardrop and organic baroque. Golden South Sea pearls are rarefied and highly coveted.