At Fujimori & Kajita, our pearls are all cultured pearls. Our cultured pearls comes in three types: Japanese Akoya pearls, South Sea pearls & Tahiti pearls.
Fine Akoya pearls feature incredibly sharp, and highly reflective lustre. These pearls are most often produced in Japan but are also farmed in other parts of the Asia-pacific area. The first person to culture this round pearl is Koichi Mikimoto in the early 1900s after years of experimentation to achieve the best growth conditions for these pearls. Akoya pearls are cultured for roundness. These well-sought pearls have been said to have attained its beauty with the right amount of water, correct temperature and precise pH balance in the waters used to cultivate them.
The following summarises the steps to culturing Akoya Pearls:
One to two round shell beads are implanted into the tissue of a pearl oyster
Oyster produces nacre, a lustrous white coating that coats the beads
These coats make the pearl and the number of coats increases proportionately to the duration the pearl is left in the water
The bead remains in the pearl as its nucleus and the layers of nacre coating makes the pearl increasingly beautiful. Akoya pearls can occur naturally in colours of pink, silver, cream, white, gold, grey and blue.
South Sea Pearls
South Sea pearls are considered the rarest of all pearl types as they are unusually large, limited to its culturing area, and long growth period. These pearls usually range between 8 to 20 mm in diameter with the mean diameter at 12 mm. There has been very few successful attempts in the farming of South Sea pearls outside of their natural, home-grown environment. This could be due to the fact that the type of pearl oyster used to culture South Sea pearls is particularly susceptible to disease and stress. These pearls can be found in colours apart from the usual white; in deep honey gold and silky grey. Pearls with white, silver, aqua and blue overtones are produced in silver-lipped South Sea pearl oysters whereas those with cream, champagne, and deeper golden overtones are produced in gold-lipped South Sea pearl oysters.
The history of White South Sea pearls begin in the 1850’s at the city of Broome, on the northwest coast of Australia. In the 1950s, large-scale commercial culturing of these pearls began. White South Sea pearls are the highest value of all pearl types because of their scarcity and large size. Majority of White South Sea pearls are cultured along the northwest coast of Australia.
Golden South Sea pearls may reach similar high prices too depending on its quality, shape and size. Golden variety of South Sea pearls are produced primarily in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Apart from the various colours which South Sea pearls can come in, there are unusual forms which South Sea pearls can take apart from the prized round shape such as semi-round, button, pear, oval, drop, coin, baroque, and ringed. Baroque shaped South Sea pearls in particular are usually used singularly as a unique jewellery item to appeal to people with its naturally irregular appearance.
Tahitian pearls as its name suggests do not actually come from Tahiti. Tahiti is the main trading post for small islands that produce Tahitian pearls and only those grown in French Polynesia may be called Tahitian pearls. These Tahitian pearls are harvested from the Pinctada margaritifera or Black-lip pearl oysters which are farmed in French Polynesia. Other areas where similar shades of pearls can be found are the Cook Islands, the Micronesian Islands, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. Tahitian pearls are naturally dark coloured. More often known to be deep black, Tahitian pearls also comes in shades of light, creamy white, grey, green, and iridescent peacock colours. Unlike Akoya pearls, the nacre of Tahitian pearls are very much thicker. According to the French Polynesian law for export, the thinnest nacre of Tahitian pearls allowed for export is 0.8 mm. Ranging from approximately 8 mm to 18 mm in size, Tahitian pearls ranks among the largest pearls worldwide.