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Articles from PEARL JEWELLERY (359 Articles), PEARLS - LOOSE / TEMPORARILY STRUNG (36 Articles), PEARLS - STRANDS (31 Articles)

Akoya Pearls – The Facts

Akoya pearls are bead-nucleated cultured pearls produced in the Pinctada fucata martensii and Pinctada fucata chemnitzii primarily in Japan, China, Vietnam, South Korea and Australia.
What Are Akoya Pearls?
Akoya pearls are cultured in the Pinctada fucata martensii, also known as the akoya oyster. This mollusk is found and farmed primarily in Japan and China. Renowned for their luster, akoya are considered the classic pearl. They are generally white or cream colored, with overtone colors of rose, silver, or cream.

Akoya Pearls, The Perfect Pearl For Jewellery
The akoya oyster is the smallest pearl-producing oyster used in pearl culture today, so akoya pearls also tend to be small, ranging in size from about 2 to 11 millimetres. They also tend to be the most consistently round and near-round pearls, making them ideal in terms of matching for multi-pearl jewelry such as strands and bracelets.

China Overtakes Japan
In recent years the Chinese have overtaken the Japanese in akoya pearl production. The Chinese began culturing akoya pearls in the 1960's, but had limited success until the late 1980's. While once considered inferior to their Japanese counterparts, China is now producing akoya pearls of qualities that rival that of the Japanese in every quality factor.

Japanese Industry Reaction
Due to the increased pressure of the Chinese competition, many Japanese pearl farmers have focused much of their attention on culturing large akoya pearls, as quality akoya pearls larger than 8 mm are a rare find in China.

In lieu of farming smaller pearls, many Japanese factories now import their smaller akoya requirements from neighbouring China. The pearls are treated and strung in Japan so that they may still carry the mark 'Product of Japan'. It has been reported that more than 80% of the pearls 7 mm and smaller have come from Chinese farms regardless of whether or not they are sold by Japanese suppliers as Japanese pearls.

More information:

DSM Pacific (Melbourne)

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