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Qualities of Pearls

Each pearl harvested is as individual as a fingerprint, making it essential to establish quality grading standards. As the Originator of Cultured Pearls, Mikimoto maintains the strictest standards. Here are the five factors we use to assess quality - keep them in mind when you are buying pearls:

Lustre

Lustre is the amount of light a pearl reflects... both from its surface glow and its inner light, a deep mirror-like reflection. The better the nacre quality of the pearl, the more superior its lustre. Only the highest quality pearls with the most luminous lustre carry the Mikimoto name.

Surface Perfection

Subtle blemishes and tiny marks are part of a pearl's natural texture and proof of its genuine origin. These blemishes result from sea particles that drift into the oyster and brush against the pearl as it forms. Fewer surface imperfections denote a higher quality, more valuable pearl.

Shape

Of the many shapes available, perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable. With Mikimoto South Sea pearls, unique shapes like button, tear drop, oval and baroque are also favoured.

Colour

Pearls vary widely in colour, based on the type of oyster that produces them. The rarer the shade, the more valuable the pearl. Colours range from cream, pink and grey to black, green and blue. White and

pink rosé are among the most popular Akoya colours; peacock green and gold are among the rarest South Sea shades. While colour choice is a matter of personal preference, always look for rich colour that is evenly distributed throughout the pearl.

Size

While size does not affect the quality of cultured pearls, it does affect the price. Large pearls are more difficult to cultivate because oysters often reject the large implanted nucleus; their rarity creates

higher value. Pearls are measured in diameter increments of millimetres (mm). The classic Akoya pearl generally ranges from 3mm to 10mm. South Sea pearls begin at 8mm and can grow as large as 18mm.

How to Buy Pearls

How to Buy Pearls

Pearl Art & Science

Pearl Art & Science

The Romance of Pearls

The Romance of Pearls

Caring for Pearls

Caring for Pearls