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Mikimoto Pearls – a man who dreams of perfection

Pearls, which are said to be royal jewels, are more popular today than ever before and no pearl is as elegant and beautiful as the one produced by the Japanese company Mikimoto. Their pearls are Haute Couture’s equivalent of fashion and Ferrari cars. These gorgeous pearl necklaces make other quality jewelry look like cheap items. This is probably why they are worn by both the British and Japanese royal families.

Cultured pearls, also known as faux pearls, are created inside mollusks and oysters. A pearl is formed when a foreign entity such as a cobweb enters the brittle membrane of an oyster. In Orcer to protect itself, the mollusk, or clam, encases the sand corn in layers of a crystalline substance called nacre. These layers that grow in numbers eventually harden and become a pearl. Modern pearls are produced in this way, artificially. Mikimoto was one of the pioneers of this method.

Kokichi Mikimoto is the man behind the company’s name and although he didn’t entirely invent this method of cultivation, he was the driving force behind the modern production of pearls. Being the son of a noodle restaurant owner, there was no indication that Mikimoto would become a well-known face in royal courts around the world.

The success was not instant. As with many other famous inventors, failure initially followed failure until one day the code was cracked. With so many factors to consider, it took several years of experimenting with water and temperature before success.

This breaking point finally occurred in 1883, when his wife Umeh was casually looking through oysters, expecting nothing. In one of the oysters they had planted, I suddenly discovered that a beautiful pearl had formed. This was the beginning of Mikimoto’s reign. By the time he died in 1953, his pearls and his trademark had become famous all over the world.

One last word of caution. When buying pearls from Mikimoto, be sure not to buy cheap imitations of which there are plenty.

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