The gift from the sea of Japan
The beauty created by the sea of Japan
with Japanese tradition・technology
-Akoya Pearl- Japan born jewelry
SAIHO is located in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, favorably located close to Ise City, Mie Prefecture which is known for its high quality pearl production. Since we have been working with the sustainable family-run pearl companies related to pearl cultivation in Mie for decades, we can ensure the possibility to maintain the quality specified by our store.
At that time, foreign substances incidentally entered a mollusk, and a nacre was coated on them. The nacre is the layer of calcium carbonate that covers inside the mollusk. As the mollusk deposits further layers, the pearl gradually grows in size. A shape of the pearl depends on a shape of the foreign substances. Perfectly round and symmetrical shapes were a natural blessing that could only be done with miraculous certainty. Meanwhile, about 100 years ago, Cultured Akoya pearls were first succeeded in Ise City, Japan and now still famous as the producer of the finest Akoya pearls in the world.
According to Japanese pearl cultivation technology, pearls have become accustomed to Japanese people and have become a tradition and technique of Japan. More specifically, Sea of Japan and the natural environment are suitable for the growth of pearls. With the changes in water temperatures due to the four seasons of Japan, the sea where is abundant in plankton and minerals, can foster great mother-of-pearls creating high quality pearls.
The cultivation of Akoya pearls begins with raising the mother-of-pearl known as mollusk. Technicians instigate formation by implanting a bead from the mollusk’s shell. Transplantation is delicate surgery performed by highly skilled technicians. After this process, it takes about 1~2 years or more to grow the pearl in the sea of Ise City. During the cold winter months when the nacre encloses and becomes more lustrous, the cultured pearls mollusks are brought up from the sea, and then the pearls are harvested from the mantle one by one.
There are 6 major factors in choosing a pearl. The balance of each factor determines the quality and
the pearl. Below is a detailed explanation.
At our store, the Certifications & Grading from Pearl Science Laboratory - PSL, Tokyo JAPAN are also available. If you would like to have more information and details, please feel free to contact us.
Nacre thickness is the thickness of nacre layers that coat around the bead nucleus.(nacre = calcium carbonate released to coat foreign matter entering the mother-of-pearl body)Nacre thickness is considered to be the most important factor in evaluating pearl quality. The quality of nacre depends on the time and environment of culturing. The thickness of the pearl can also be a measure of pearl's durability. Most high-quality Akoya pearls have nacre thickness about 0.4 millimeters or more.
Akoya pearls are considered to be the most lustrous of all pearl species. The quality of the pearl’s luster is related to the layers of nacre. In Japanese we use a word term “Teri” which means “Brilliance luster”, the light reflected from or near the pearls surface evaluated by the intensity and the sharpness of reflection.
Akoya pearls range in size from 2 to 10 millimeters, and most commonly used for necklaces are around 5 to 8 millimeters. Large size pearls are rare since it takes longer time to cultivate. Generally the bigger pearls are more valuable, but those with substandard “nacre”, “luster”, “surface” are not considered high-quality pearls.
Pearl surface quality can be qualified by how clean, smooth and free from blemishes. Blemishes can be scratches or scuffs condition on the surface of the pearl that can affect pearls luster, color and durability. Also there are other surface characteristics such as dimple or hollow, wrinkles, tiny bubbles, spots (minor color variations) which are occurred naturally during the cultivation. The blemish-free (spotless) determines high pearls quality and value.
The color of pearl is generally determined by “Body color” but sometimes also affected by “Overtone ”. “Body color” is the color of the pearl itself and “Overtone ” is the color created by the complex reflection of light due to the multi-layered structure of the nacre. The most famous and traditional Akoya pearl color is white - body color with common overtones of either rose, silver or cream / ivory.
In the global jewelry market, Akoya pearls are famous for their perfectly rounded, symmertrical shapes, which are popular for necklace jewelry. Generally, the more perfectly round and symmetrical pearl, the more valuable it is. There are also unique shapes such as an irregular shape called Baroque, Semi-Baroque, drop or else.