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"A pearl is a living jewel." - Kokichi Mikimoto
Creating pearls is a fascinating process that requires much time and dedication. The oyster bed is a natural habitat that must be painstakingly nurtured before a pearl can even be conceived. The cultivation process begins with a core. In natural pearls, this is simply a fragment of shell, fishbone or sand that floats into the shell of pearl oyster.
To protect itself from this irritant, the oyster secretes thousands of layers of nacre, forming a pearl. In 1893, after years of painstaking efforts, Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in duplicating this natural process by implanting a nucleus (core). The method he developed is still used by Mikimoto today to form beautiful, lustrous pearls.
Quality, design and craftsmanship converge at Mikimoto to create pearl jewels of extraordinary style. They express both the best of contemporary fashion trends and a timeless, eternal elegance - a perfect balance of tradition and innovation. As you wear and enjoy your Mikimoto pearl jewelry, it will grow in classic appeal, adding to its precious value. Every year, we introduce versatile, new designs - creating excitement via colored stones, new types of clasps, multi-layered strands, multi-colored strands and lariat styles.The jewel springs from the designer's imagination, and is magically transformed by intricate craftsmanship that brings the idea to life. Absolute attention to every detail results in jewelry admired and treasured around the world.
The pearl's iridescent luminosity has bewitched men and women alike for thousands of years. Whether offered in romance or taken in victory, worn as a symbol of chastity or a mystical aphrodisiac, pearls have been and continue to be among the most coveted gems in the world.
The ancient Greeks wore pearls at their wedding ceremonies, believing they would ensure marital bliss and prevent new brides from crying. This time-honored custom lives on today, with brides of many cultures wearing pearls to enhance their beauty and symbolize the purity of their love.
So greatly were pearls valued, they have even changed history. After accepting Cleopatra's wager that she could consume the wealth of an entire nation in one meal, Marc Antony watched as she removed a pearl earring, crushed it and drank the powder mixed with wine. Awed by her extravagant gesture, he became enamored, neglecting his duties to the Roman Empire.
During the Renaissance, nobility entwined pearls in their hair and embroidered them on garments. Elizabeth I owned more than 3000 gowns adorned with the gem, and even had court jewelers create a pearl and ruby collar for her pet ermine.
In the Gilded Age, American industrialists used pearls as expressions of power and wealth. Portraits of Astors, Vanderbilts and Fricks reveal ropes of pearls dripping over extravagant gowns.
Today's royals, celebrities and fashion icons continue the passion for pearls. From extravagant statement pieces to elegant single strands and luminous studs, Mikimoto brings the thrilling cultured pearl experience within reach of today's modern woman -- and man.
Each strand of Mikimoto cultured pearls is a work of art born from the mystery of the sea. Creation of these strands requires incredible skill, judgment and craftsmanship. The journey begins with a rigorous selection process, culling the very best pearls.
The perfect Mikimoto pearl has high-quality nacre and a perfectly round shape. Once the best pearls have been selected, they are cleaned with specialized techniques and entrusted to the expert sorter. Each beautiful pearl is individually examined by northern, morning light, the day's most even illumination. The natural light reveals the "personality" of the pearl.
Mikimoto pearl necklaces and jewelry is distinguished by unique characteristics that elevate it above all other pearl jewelry.
One of the many ways we perfect the art of fine pearl jewelry making is by controlling our production from start to finish. Only the finest quality materials are used:
You can always identify Mikimoto jewelry by our trademark: either the outline of an oyster or the Mikimoto name engraved on every jewel. This can be found on the clasp, ring shank or earring back. Our strands and cultured pearl bracelets are also fitted with a signature M-circle logo charm.
Look for the Mikimoto trademark — it is your assurance of the highest standard of quality and integrity.