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Our Secrets To Finding The Perfect Engagement Ring

Our Secrets To Finding The Perfect Engagement Ring

Our Secrets To Finding The Perfect Engagement Ring

Finding a great engagement ring can be a little challenging, especially with so many options to choose from. You always want a ring which leaves a lasting effect, while still being the perfect match to your sweetheart’s style.

But, we have good news! There’s no need to get butterflies in your stomach because we’re all obsessed with the beauty of engagement rings here.  That’s why we’ve curated options for all tastes, to make sure you find the one to make your beloved go a little weak at the knees and reach for a tissue (in a good way).

Sit back and enjoy our easy guide with tips to help you navigate the world of engagement rings with confidence!

Which engagement rings are the most popular?

The style of engagement rings is a very personal choice. Some styles are timeless, others evoke romance, and other styles are picked because of the radiant effect of their diamonds.

It all comes to the person who is to receive it. At this stage, we invite you to bring forth your inner Sherlock Holmes and investigate your partner’s preferences carefully.

Engagement rings have strong symbolism. So, look for the details that resonate with how your sweetheart sees the love you share.

Which engagement rings are the most popular?

To help you understand all the options available, we’ve lined up  a list of much-talked-about engagement ring styles:

Solitaire

Solitaire

The design is elegant and highlights the centerpiece diamond with a stark glimmer that looks spectacular against all skin tones. The solitaire speaks for itself and never fails to draw eyes.

Three-Stone

This style oozes radiance from all sides with three dazzling stones. The three-stone engagement ring style is swoon-worthy and allows for many combinations of diamonds — the flanking stones and the centerpiece can feature different cuts.

Three-Stone
Halo

Halo

Who doesn’t love it? This unique and oh-so-gorgeous design features a row of delicate brilliants surrounding a diamond in the center. Additionally,  halo engagement rings are the epitome of romance!

Split-shank

If you love a take on classic designs, split-shank engagement rings will catch your attention. The band is cleaved in two, making room for extra sparkles and an intriguing peek of the finger.

Split-shank
Twisted

Twisted

Twisted engagement rings showcase the finest of all settings. If the band of a ring is essential to you, you’ll love this intertwined design, which can feature accented diamonds or not.

Bypass

Creative brides love the exuberant power in the bypass engagement ring style! The design usually features two center stones “bypassing” the other. The result is head-turning and dreamy.

Bypass

What metal should an engagement ring be?

We know each metal color has its charm, so our tip here is to pick out a metal shade you’ve seen your sweetheart wearing.

Rose gold

Rose gold is romantic and unconventional. The unmissable hues of rose gold favor all skin tones and are certainly favorites of brides with fashion-forward styles!

Rose gold
White gold

White gold

The design is elegant and highlights the centerpiece diamond with a stark glimmer that looks spectacular against all skin tones. The solitaire speaks for itself and never fails to draw eyes.

Yellow gold

Yellow gold is timeless. We can find it in ancient jewelry relics, but there’s still something voguish about them that many modern brides long for. Yellow gold is warm enough to liven up any outfit you have on.

Yellow Gold
Platinum

Platinum

Platinum engagement rings are known for their strength and durability, and never fade or change color over time. Platinum engagement rings will prove to out perform all other precious metals and are the most popular choice for that reason. The everlasting quality is a cherished symbol of eternal commitment and love.

Custom design engagement rings

Are you looking for something even more personalized? We can help you custom design your engagement ring with your partner’s preferences in mind.

We want you to have the most magical proposal of all time! Customizing an engagement ring is special because no other woman in the world will have a ring like the one you’ve created. 

You decide the shank style, the diamond cut and quality, the metal shades, and any extra details such as the engraving of your names, the date you met, or even a quote you’ve both come to love!

Schedule an appointment

Custom design engagement rings

Engagement rings in the Chicago Area

If you’re in the Chicago Area and deciding which engagement ring to buy, C.D. Peacock is your destination in Oak Brook, Schaumburg, and Skokie, IL.

When you shop with us, you have access to a vast selection of engagement rings by designers from all over the world.

Make the engagement proposal of your dreams a reality with pieces curated with the utmost attention to detail featuring only the finest metals and precious gemstones.

If you have any questions, send us a text using the box in the corner of this page. Have a chat with an expert. We’d love to hear from you!

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Bracelets Guide

Bracelets Guide

Bracelets are lovely pieces of jewelry that always make a statement since they’re worn on the wrists and seen so easily. In addition to calling attention for being one of the first accessories to be caught by an eye, bracelets also are key for putting together a look that also brings out the movement of your body, making you look amazing.

Why we love bracelets so much

The perfect bracelet for you should reflect your style and fashion taste. Because of that, not only is it important to think of the different meanings that each bracelet has, it’s also key to take into account what kind of message you want to convey by wearing it. 

Read on and turn your bracelets into a personal statement! Adorn yourself with them and let them take you into another world, one in which you can change according to your personality, or even your mood! All that with the movement that only bracelets are able to offer you. 

Why we love bracelets so much

How to choose the perfect bracelet for you

The metal the bracelet is made of tells much about it. So, an easy way to find the right bracelet for you is to choose it by the metal. Conversely, defining the metal and some of the materials that are featured on it can be done by following a few basic guidelines. Precious metals never go out of style, so let’s dive in!

Yellow gold bracelets

Yellow gold bracelets

This hue of gold is perfect to enhance warmer and olive skin tones, as it makes them look super healthy and give off a beautiful glow. But these physical features are not the only thing that makes people love yellow gold. It is the most classic kind of gold and it perfectly suits bold and extravagant personalities.

Check out our selection of yellow gold bracelets. We offer design in 14K and 18K, and bracelets with yellow gold combined with platinum and rose gold.

White gold bracelets

Perhaps the most popular kind of gold, white gold is commonly found in wedding bands and engagement rings due to its versatility. It is a great enhancer to pretty much any skin tone, yet it looks amazing especially on fairer and neutral undertones. It is sure to match any look and occasion. White gold is also an extremely good match to diamonds, as it harmonizes very well with these gems. If you want to go for a more basic and discreet look, opt for a more discrete white gold bracelet design. If you want to make an impact, white gold and diamond bracelets will do the trick for you. Be inspired by our white gold bracelets. Our wide array includes 14K and 18K white gold by itself and with platinum and white gold.

White gold bracelets
Rose gold bracelets

Rose gold bracelets

This hue of gold became increasingly popular in the fashion industry in the past years, especially when combined with diamonds, pearls or even other metals. Rose gold is perfect for people who like to stand out from the crowd, who have their own set of beliefs and personalities and follow their own rules.

It is likewise perfect for dreamy and romantic personalities, given that the rose reminds us of love and cherish. In addition, rose gold is a hue of gold that naturally enhances the natural beauty of warmer and olive skin tones, harmonizing with it. Fall in love with these lovely rose gold bracelets!

Silver bracelets

People who love silver know the many benefits of this metal, which extend from aesthetics only to even health benefits, since silver is known for its healing properties. It looks beautiful on fairer skin tones. Sterling silver is a more affordable alternative that nonetheless offers the benefits of this metal. Browse through our charming selection of silver bracelets and see for yourself the multiple ways this metal can enhance your beauty.

Silver bracelets
Platinum bracelets

Platinum bracelets

Platinum is seemingly similar to white gold and silver, yet this metal also offers many benefits. For one, it is extremely durable and resistant to changes in weather. It is extremely low-maintenance to keep, which is the reason why platinum is so popular especially among practical, busy people. The metal is also associated with financial prosperity for those who believe in numerology. Check out our platinum bracelets and see how well it can suit your needs.

Where to find amazing bracelets in Chicago, Illinois

Where to find amazing bracelets in Chicago, Illinois

Bracelets are amazing and now you know how to choose the perfect one for you. Now, we’ll tell you where to find it! Simply visit us in one of our locations and enjoy a complimentary visit. Our experts will be happy to welcome you and help you find the perfect bracelet for you by making sure your demands and personal preferences are met.

At CD Peacock, we are proud to serve our community with top quality designers and brands such as Gucci, Hearts on Fire, Vanity Fair, Chanel, Mikimoto and Roberto Coin, to name a few. We have a wide selection of exclusive bracelets featuring diamonds, pearls and other gemstones that are able to please any taste.

Feel free to connect with our community to be in the loop for news and inspiration by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Lab-grown Diamond Guide

Lab-grown Diamond Guide

Here Is Everything You Need To Know About These Shimmering Gems

It’s easy to see why lab-grown diamonds have been growing in popularity in recent years. After all, they are just as stunning as mined diamonds, but they have the added benefit of being guaranteed conflict-free, ethical, and more accessible. What’s not to love, right?

If you want to learn more about these amazing gems, here’s our expert guide on everything you need to know about lab-grown diamonds.

What is a lab-grown diamond?

Simply put, lab-grown diamonds are diamonds. The only difference is that they are created in a laboratory instead of being mined.

While mined diamonds take millions of years to be created, scientists can replicate the natural process in a lab and create diamonds in just about two months. Impressive, right?

What is a lab-grown diamond?
Are lab-grown diamonds real?

Are lab-grown diamonds real?

Absolutely! Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical characteristics as mined diamonds. In fact, they are so similar that even jewelers and gemologists can't tell them apart with the naked eye.

Not to mention, the US Federal Trade Commission has even removed the word “natural” from the definition of “diamond”, acknowledging the fact that lab-grown and mined diamonds are equal.

How are lab-grown diamonds graded?

Lab-grown diamonds are graded exactly the same way as mined diamonds. To grade them, professional jewelers analyze their cut, clarity, carat, and color - which are known as the 4Cs. Those are the four main elements to keep in mind when choosing the perfect diamond for you. If you would like to learn more about how diamond grading works, explore our Diamond Education Guide

How are lab-grown diamonds graded?

Lab-grown diamond jewelry

They say diamonds are forever, and the same goes for diamond jewelry. Whether you prefer mined or lab-grown diamond jewelry, these dazzling pieces are essential to any collection because they simply never go out of style. So, to help you build the perfect diamond jewelry collection, here are some stunning pieces featuring lab-grown diamonds to inspire you.

Lab-grown diamond engagement rings

Diamond engagement rings are iconic. Whether you're after a halo engagement ring, a beautiful solitaire, or a shimmering three-stone ring, the great news is that you can easily make your choice more sustainable by opting for a lab-grown diamond engagement ring. It’s definitely a win-win!

Lab-grown diamond rings
Lab-grown diamond wedding bands

Lab-grown diamond wedding bands

Say “I do” with dazzling diamond wedding bands! From eye-catching eternity bands to minimalist diamond wedding rings, your options are endless. And the best part is that you can keep adding beautiful diamond anniversary bands to your stack with every coming year. Who can resist all those stunning diamond rings?

Lab-grown diamond bracelets

Diamond bracelets add the perfect amount of shimmer to any outfit. Diamond line bracelets effortlessly add a timeless elegance to your outfits, while diamond bangles are perfect for creating a striking bracelet stack. From the office to a night out on the town, you simply can’t go wrong with these stunning accessories.

Lab-grown diamond bracelets
Lab-grown diamond earrings

Lab-grown diamond earrings

Whether you prefer bold designs or dainty styles, diamond earrings are essential to any jewelry collection. You can mix and match lab-grown diamond stud earrings with statement diamond hoops to create a sparkly stack, go all out with a pair of striking diamond dangles, or stick to a minimalist look with dainty diamond huggies. Your styling options are endless!

Lab-grown diamond necklaces

No jewelry collection is complete without a couple of timeless and versatile diamond necklaces. From stylish bar necklaces and dainty diamond solitaire pendants to classic line necklaces and fashionable diamond station chains, you’ll have no shortage of stunning designs to choose from.

Lab-grown diamond necklaces
Lab-grown diamond rings

Lab-grown diamond rings

Diamond fashion rings are amazing accessories because they instantly dress up even the most casual outfits. And the best thing about rings is that you have a plethora of stunning designs to choose from. Between platinum eternity rings, yellow gold stackable bands, and multi-row diamond statement rings, you’ll never run out of stylish diamond rings in your collection.

Where to buy lab-grown diamonds in the Chicago Area?

C.D. Peacock is your go-to jewelry store for the best lab-grown diamonds in Illinois. Here, you’ll find everything from timeless diamond studs to trendy diamond station necklaces and stunning lab-grown diamond engagement rings.

Visit us in Oak Brook, Schaumburg, or Skokie, IL. If you prefer, you can send us a text using the box in the corner of this page, and we’ll be with you shortly. And, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for our latest news and stunning jewelry inspiration!

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All About Fashion Rings

All About Fashion Rings

Rings are special pieces of jewelry that can easily enhance one’s beauty by calling attention to the parts of our body we use the most: our hands. Yet, there are so many different types of rings and styles that choosing the perfect one may seem like an overwhelming task. 

But no worries, this guide will touch on the subject of the different types of fashion rings and will also teach you the essentials of how to wear them in a bold and confident way. So get ready to dive into this accessories' universe once and for all, and let CD Peacock walk you through that process.

Is there a right way to wear a fashion ring?

Where do we start? First, by understanding that fashion rings are meant to be worn for purely fashion purposes. That means that they are able to compose specific looks and can upgrade any outfit to looking amazing. Likewise, the options in terms of the different ways to wear them are many.

So how do we do it right and confidently? A few aspects should be considered when it comes to wearing fashion rings. The first is: remember, they’re meant to be part of an overall look and not meant to get all the attention off your outfit, so balance is important here for that matter.

Is there a right way to wear a fashion ring?
WHAT IS THE BEST FASHION RING MATERIAL TO INVEST IN?

What is the best fashion ring material to invest in?

The answer to this question is entirely up to you. Best would be what best suits your style, your personality and your overall fashion taste. There is an overall rule of thumb though, which is to avoid shiny materials if you’re going for a more traditional basic look to avoid drawing all the attention to your hands.

Another important aspect is to make sure the fashion ring matches the rest of your outfit, as well as your other accessories, such as any bracelets, necklaces, belts and watches you may be wearing along with it. If you're wearing a yellow gold watch, it may not be such a great idea to pair it with a silver fashion ring.

fashion rings

Does wearing a fashion ring on specific fingers mean anything?

You can wear a fashion ring on whichever finger you choose to do so, but there's some overall meaning attributed to specific fingers that you might wanna know about before you do so. Besides, it’s important to know if you want to send a specific message by wearing rings on specific fingers.

For instance, the left ring finger symbolizes marriage, so if you’re unmarried but love wearing a ring on that finger but don’t want people to think that you are married, you might want to consider wearing it on the right hand instead. The same goes for the pinky finger: remember, it’s usually a token of affiliation.

Choose your fashion ring by the most popular styles

Diamond fashion rings

Diamonds are forever - and you don't need to be engaged to wear a diamond ring. In fact, this charming little accessory may look unpretentious but is able to upgrade any look you could possibly think of. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable ring, then a diamond fashion ring is perfect for you. We also offer a selection of black diamond rings.

Diamond Fashion Rings
White Gold Fashion Rings

White gold fashion rings

White gold is amazing because this type of metal is guaranteed to look good  on virtually any kind of skin color, but especially on neutral and fairer skin tones. This metal is likewise famous for being a perfect match to many different outfits and is a great match for many occasions and for everyday wear.

Yellow gold fashion rings

Yellow gold is timeless and classic. It is the classic form of gold and it has been around for centuries. It was commonly used by royalty as queens and kings, so it continues to be a symbol of royalty and all things luxurious, hence making you feel exquisite. This gold suits olive and warm skin tones perfectly.

Yellow Gold Fashion Rings
Rose Gold Fashion Rings

Rose gold fashion rings

Rose gold is the most romantic type of gold and at the same time that it is delicate, it is also perfect for bold types because it takes a lot of attitude to want to wear this differentiated and outstanding style. Rose gold is always going to be remembered precisely for being so special and is a perfect match to warmer neutral and olive skin tones.

Sterling silver fashion rings

Those who love this metal can absolutely tell the difference between it and white gold and they stick to silver. It is a subtle yet noticeable one. Sterling silver looks beautiful on the skin, is a great match to most skin undertones and is just as long-lasting and high-quality as gold. 

Sterling silver fashion rings
Platinum fashion rings

Platinum fashion rings

Platinum is extremely durable and long lasting as it is a strong kind of metal. Many choose to wear it on a daily basis for those advantages and also for the fact that it resists extreme heat and cold, keeping its nice appearance over time. Some people believe this endurance works also against stress.

Pearl fashion rings

Pearls are beautiful, charming and delicate additions absolutely adored by women. But if you want to keep the pearls' feminine touch while also daring to innovate, then you should definitely opt for a pearl fashion ring - as it’ll accomplish this purpose.

We work with Akoya cultured pearls, black and white and South Sea cultured pearls, as well as mother of pearl fashion rings.

Pearl Fashion Rings
Gemstones Fashion Rings

Gemstones fashion rings

Gemstones instantly radiate your beauty by adding a touch of color to your life. Their vast array of options, colors and sizes makes them the perfect choice for creative expressive personalities that want to express how original they are. Make sure to check our selection of black jade and blue sapphire.

Where to find the best fashion rings in Illinois 

Now that you know which fashion rings to get, drop by one of our locations and come fall for our many different styles. We guarantee the hardest part will be to know which ring to get. At CD Peacock, we want to make our customers happy. Drop by for a complimentary talk with our expert staff and we promise it'll be worth your time.

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All Things Necklaces

All Things Necklaces

All Things Necklaces

These pieces of jewelry have been popular for both men and women for centuries. They were once meant to represent religion, affiliation, and belonging. Over time, however, their meanings have moved away from political means and more towards fashion purposes. Necklaces don’t just make someone more beautiful!

Because they are worn around the neck, they’re as inviting as they are sensual.  Who doesn’t think of a man putting a necklace around a woman’s neck? Not only that, but what better way to compliment cleavage than by wearing a beautiful necklace?

First, decide on the type of necklace you want

Unlike other pieces of jewelry  that usually have set standard sizes, such as rings and bracelets, necklaces sizes vary vastly. And they do so in a way that actually changes their overall meaning for fashion purposes. That makes size and length, key factors to consider finding the right necklace.

For instance, smaller necklaces that fit tighter by the neck are bolder - and hence sexier as they’re worn by women who know what they want and choose to be daring and fearless. Medium size necklaces are the average, pleasing all tastes, having the ability to be mixed and matched with different pendants. And longer necklaces carry a bohemian laid back charm of their own.

First, decide on the type of necklace you want

Choose the right necklace metal type

Gold Necklaces

Gold Necklaces

Nothing compares to the durability, quality and reputation that gold carries with it. A gold necklace comes with the added benefit that you can choose among yellow gold, white gold, pink gold and rose gold. Speak to one of our experts to decide which one will be the best fit for you.

Sterling Silver, Silver or Platinum Necklaces

If gold is not for you, no worries! There’s plenty of other beautiful metals with healing properties that will not only make you look just as enchanting as gold, but that will also work to balance your vital energies. Not to mention that these options are extremely durable and look especially good on neutral and fairer undertones.

Gucci

Now, we need to decide what style of necklace you want to get.

Main Necklace Styles

Gemstone Necklaces

Gemstone Necklaces

These gems have the power to make all colors around them just pop to life, adding a unique breath of fresh air to any look. For irresistible results, match them with your eye color and hair along with your clothes and accessories. You’ll see how rewarding it is towear gemstones.

Pearl necklaces

Pearls are precious stones and everything about them makes them exclusive, unique and special. These gems may be the most feminine and delicate item a woman can choose to wear. No matter the occasion, if you want to look classy, then you can’t go wrong with pearls.

Pearl necklaces
Diamond Necklaces

Diamond Necklaces

If you only got one shot to purchase the perfect necklace for you, opt for a diamond necklace. It’ll make you look like a billion bucks and it’ll last forever. After all, it is a diamond. No wonder they say diamonds are a girl’s best friend! No gem can make you sparkle like a diamond can.

Religious necklaces

This kind of necklace is a piece of jewelry, a symbol of a specific faith in an extremely intimate way. It works as tokens of protection for those who wear it. So, if you know someone’s religion, religious necklaces make the ideal type of gift among people of faith.

Religious necklaces

Find the best selections of necklaces in Chicago, IL

After reading this guide, you’re all set to find the ideal necklace for you. We invite you to visit C.D. Peacock for a complimentary talk with one of our experts. We're proud to have been serving the Chicago community since 1837, offering high-end and exquisite jewelry to our customers.

Come visit us at one of our three locations in Chicago, or browse our website through the links above. If you would rather choose by designer, we offer an extensive selection of necklaces from top luxury designers such as Vanity Fair, Gucci, Chanel, Mikimoto, Hearts on Fire, Roberto Coin, CD Peacock, Memoire, and Rosato Italia.  

Come bask in this rich array of options! We guarantee, the hardest part will be to decide among the many creme de la creme that we carry. Feel free to connect with us by following us on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest

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Are Mikimoto Pearls Valuable?

Are Mikimoto Pearls Valuable?

Known to be the best cultured pearls money can buy, these Mikimoto pearls ooze an unmatched luster. Moreover, their irresistible charming luminosity makes them a favorite for their sophistication. 

Mikimoto pearls are valuable with excellent quality that elevates them to global acclaim. Most experts consider them the finest pearls around the globe. They are a product of experimentation and exhaustive research, thanks to Kokichi Mikimoto, the pearl expert. 

If you have a panache for pearls, you already know that Mikimoto pearls sell for high prices. The pearls offer exceptional value to the discerning pearl lover. This guide explores some of the most-asked questions about these high-profile pearls.

What are the Mikimoto pearls?

Mikimoto pearls are sublime and lustrous Japanese Akoya pearls. These pearls originate from a pearl oyster, called Pinctada fucata martensii. The oyster is a native of the surrounding Pacific Ocean in Japan. 

In 1983, Kokichi Mikimoto, the King of Pearls, created the world’s first cultured pearls. After noticing the diminishing supply of pearls, Kokichi decided to develop an alternative.

In 1888, with his wife's help, he established an oyster farm, the Mikimoto Pearl Island, originally the Shinmei inlet. He discovered that when he inserted a tiny particle into the oyster’s flesh, it’d stimulate nacre secretions. Consequently, these secretions would then create a lustrous pearl.

After one too many attempts to cultivate the pearls and many years of obstacles and experiments, Kokichi finally triumphed. His wife retrieved their first semi-spherical cultured pearl in 1893. He patented the process of cultured pearls in 1916, leading to a revolution in the pearl industry.

In 1921, an article in a London newspaper alluded that they were an imitation of genuine pearls and, therefore, misleading. Mikimoto, in return, filed a lawsuit which he won after much publicity, making the pearls famous.

Not only was Kokichi Mikimoto an inventor, but he was also the brand’s master marketer. He grabbed people’s attention by creating Art Nouveau and Art Deco inspired jewelry pieces using his designs. In addition, in 1899, he opened his first store in Tokyo, and more stores followed in New York, Paris, and London. 

One of his attention-grabbing designs was his replica of the Liberty Bell with 12,250 pearls, which he showcased during the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

What are the Mikimoto pearl types?

Some of the pearls you’ll find in Mikimoto jewelry include:

  • Akoya pearls: These are the most popular of all Mikimoto pearls, and they’re priced based on their rich color and brilliant luster.  Only 5% of all harvested Akoya pearls are acceptable as Mikimoto quality. 
  • Baroque: They have unique, organic shapes, beautiful silhouettes, and superb luster.
  • Conch: These pearls have a characteristic flame structure that gives them a burning appearance on their surface.
  • Golden South Sea pearls: They’re said to be more rare than gold and are harvested from 9mm and above.
  • White South Sea pearls: These pearls have a subdued opalescence and satiny luster that shifts with the appearance of light. Their shapes range from free-form baroque, teardrop, oval, and round. In addition, they’re harvested from 9mm sizes.
  • Black South Sea Pearls: The pearls are harvested in blue, pink, green overtones, pistachio, silver, black, and grey colors. Their sizes start from 8mm.

What is the cost range of Mikimoto pearls?

Mikimoto pearls cost as low as $300 for 7.0mm Akoya pearls stud earrings. On the higher side, it could cost you more than $500,000 depending on the pearl collection. 

For 5.0mm - 8.5mm pearls, you should expect to spend between $3,000 and $7,000, and finer qualities range even higher. More exotic pearl types like the South Sea and Tahitian pearls have a price ranging from $8,000 for simple pearl necklaces and higher for more exotic pieces. 

The wreath necklace above by Mikimoto has South Sea pearls surrounded by round-brilliant pear-shaped 53.98cttw diamonds mounted on 18K white gold. This exquisite jewelry piece retails for approximately $700,000. 

Are vintage Mikimoto pearls valuable?

Vintage Mikimoto pearls are valuable. They’re gorgeous gems you can purchase at a fraction of the original cost compared to their modern counterparts. However, you must exercise caution before purchasing them to ensure they’re genuine. 

The pearls can't be genuine if they don’t have the signature Mikimoto authentication marks. Something to note, Mikimoto pearls retain their value based on their condition. 

How to determine the value of Mikimoto pearls

The value of Mikimoto pearls is determined by four primary grades. AAA is the highest pearl quality, followed by AA, A+, and A. There are four grade variants AAA1, AA1, A+1. and A1. The 1 shows that the pearls have more blemishes on the surfaces. 

Other methods used to determine the value of these pearls include:

  • Clasp characteristics: Authentic Mikimoto pearl pieces bear an iconic “M” with an oyster shell profile. Additionally, you need to confirm the gold or silver metal mark.
  • Silk strand: When purchasing a bracelet or necklace, examine the strand. What is the threading quality? Mikimoto pearls have a silk strand threading. However, you might realize that vintage Mikimoto necklaces may be restrung.
  • The overall quality of the pearls: Mikimoto cultured pearls are well-known for their superior quality. Therefore, check out pearls for any inconsistent and thin nacre. Also, be sure to check for any irregularities or imperfections between pearls. Mikimoto artisans pair the pearls to ensure unblemished spherical surfaces and uniform size.
  • The tooth test: To test the authenticity of your Mikimoto pearls at home, a tooth test is a simple way to do it. Rub the pearl gently on the surface of your tooth. If the pearl gets rough and gritty, it’s genuine. If it feels too smooth, that’s a sure sign that it’s fake. 

Conclusion

When you shop at C.D.Peacock, you’ll find some of the best quality Mikimoto pearls at a reasonable price compared to the high-end brands. From the exotic Tahitian to golden and white South Sea pearls, we have a selection of some of the best pearls – at negotiated price points.

All our pearls match your desired specifications, and they’re what you’ve been dreaming of at a wallet-friendly price. We also provide our customers with excellent customer service and a pearl repair and care service at a flat rate. We ensure your jewelry stays as beautiful as you bought it. 

Discover our full range of pearls here!

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Are Hearts on Fire Diamonds Lab Grown? (Quick Facts)

Are Hearts on Fire Diamonds Lab Grown? (Quick Facts)

Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that grow in a controlled environment inside a laboratory. Although they are not naturally grown diamonds, they are as real as the diamonds mined from the earth. They are also recognized and even have certifications from prestigious organizations. 

With the growing popularity of lab-grown diamonds, you might wonder whether prestigious diamond jewelry brands, such as Hearts on Fire, use lab-grown diamonds. 

Hearts on Fire boasts its perfect cut as their trademark for their diamond jewelry. It is an exquisite choice for celebrities, lovers, and clients who want a natural and brilliant diamond for themselves or their loved ones. 

For a non-expert, you may have difficulty determining what kind of diamond this brand uses. 

Read more to know what kind of diamond you buy from Hearts on Fire and what makes these diamonds special. 

What are Hearts on Fire diamonds? 

Hearts on Fire diamonds are known and marketed as "World's Most Perfectly Cut Diamond." It is a bold statement, but they back it up with their rigorous process using their in-house formula and new technology. 

Their rigorous process and in-house formula exist to cut their diamonds to perfection while considering symmetry, proportion, and individual shape.

The cut is the most important of the 4Cs (carat, color, clarity, and cut) in a diamond when it comes to sparkle and beauty. With Hearts on Fire's proprietary cut, they consistently produce diamonds that are brighter and sparkle better than other diamonds. Their patented cut enhances the diamond's color and clarity. 

The brand name comes from the eight flawless "hearts," which you can see at the top. Meanwhile, the "fire" comes from the starburst arrangement visible at the bottom of the diamond. Combining these two designs creates the uniqueness of the Hearts on Fire Diamond. 

Are Hearts on Fire genuine or lab-grown diamonds?

Hearts on Fire are natural and genuine diamonds. These crystals undergo a rigorous process and standards to filter and take only the purest and finest rough crystals. Because of this, only 1/10 of 1% of the rough diamond crystals in the world can become a Hearts on Fire Diamond. 

After choosing diamonds, they use vibration-free cutting wheels to cut and polish them, following the ideal proportions and symmetry. They polish these diamonds at 100x magnification, which is ten times what the industry requires. 

What's special about the Hearts on Fire diamonds? 

There are many things to love about Hearts on Fire. If you are wondering what they are, here is what makes the Hearts on Fire diamonds special:

1. They are made from natural crystals

All the diamonds from Hearts on Fire are naturally-mined crystals guaranteed to be conflict-free. They source them ethically and responsibly from Angola, Botswana, Canada, Namibia, Russia, and South Africa. They fully follow and comply with the Kimberley Process. 

The Kimberley Process has extensive requirements for its members to certify that the rough diamonds are conflict-free and to prevent the conflict diamonds from penetrating legitimate trade. 

Thus, Hearts on Fire is a responsible company that values the environment and the countries they source diamonds from. 

2. They have diamond sparkle

The patented cut of Hearts on Fire ensures a precise balance in proportion, symmetry, and polish that returns 98% of the light. They consistently cut their diamonds to achieve the three elements of a sparkle–brilliance, fire, and scintillation. 

Brilliance refers to how well the diamond reflects white light. An incorrect cut of the diamond will make it dim and dull even in perfect lighting. 

Fire refers to how well the diamond displays the colored light. A diamond with a rainbow-like appearance, like Hearts on Fire, is because the proportions from the diamond's top and bottom are correctly balanced. Otherwise, they will have a flat and dull appearance because they cannot reflect colored light properly.

The last element is scintillation, which refers to how well the diamond reflects light during movement. If there is high scintillation, it means the diamond has few spots where there is no sparkle. Additionally, a well-cut diamond, such as Hearts on Fire, has a surface area that produces a visible spark. 

Aside from brilliance, fire, and scintillation, polish is also one factor to consider because it affects the diamond's ability to absorb, refract, and reflect light. The more polished and transparent a diamond is, the more sparkle it will have. That is why Hearts on Fire polishes its diamonds more than the industry standard.

3. They boast AGS ideal ratings

American Gem Social (AGM) consistently gives clarity ratings and ideal ratings on Hearts on Fire diamonds. 

American Gem Society (AGM) is a preeminent jewelry trade organization dedicated to protecting consumers by helping them know what they are buying. They evaluate each diamond and grade it based on its qualities and components. They also generate a report that includes details from cut quality to the carat weight. 

The clarity ratings range from Flawless (absolutely no inclusions) to Slightly Included (slight characteristics not visible to the naked eye but visible under 10x magnification) on Hearts on Fire diamonds. So, you will not have to worry about seeing a major inclusion in your diamonds. 

On the other hand, an ideal rating is very rare, with only about 3%-5% of diamonds in the world gaining this rating. A rating from AGM is reliable and valid, indicating that a Hearts on Fire diamond has a quality cut. 

4. They are made by the best craftspeople

The Hearts on Fire Diamonds team consists of talented and best craftspeople dedicated to their craft. They have an apprenticeship between 5 to 10 years for master diamond cutters. 

Once they pass through apprenticeship, they can cut a 1+ carat diamond themselves using their rigorous and exacting process that takes four times longer than cutting a generic diamond. 

Hearts on Fire also provide state-of-the-art tools and technology to help craftspeople become more precise and faster in their work. Their newest technology is water-jet technology that cuts diamonds in 15 minutes rather than 4-6 hours with only 1-2% weight loss compared to 3-5% with the diamond saw. 

5. They encourage clients to get insurance

Hearts on Fire values their customers as much as they love their diamonds. While they have a warranty for defective products, they encourage their customers to get insurance for their jewelry. 

They partner with Jewelers Mutual, a leading jewelry insurance company, to encourage their customers to get insurance to protect their jewelry from loss, damage, and theft. 

Jewelers Mutual has been offering jewelry protection for over 100 years, so you can wear your jewelry confidently without apprehension. They usually cost around 1-2% of the jewelry's value per year. 

But that is totally worth it because it has wide coverage compared to other jewel insurance. Their insurance policy includes, but is not limited to, worldwide coverage while traveling, protection against theft, loss, damage, and even disappearance, and repair and replacement. 

If you have other jewelry in mind, do not worry because Hearts on Fire provides you with a Documentation of Purchase. You can give your insurance company a copy of this documentation and keep the original one. Your insurance company might add a rider to your policy and charge you annually. 

Conclusion

Diamonds are precious pieces that can have sentimental and financial value. Before buying one, you must know the brand, diamonds, products, and reviews to understand what you are getting into and what you are buying for. 

In this article, we have examined Hearts on Fire Diamonds. Their prestige brand mines diamond responsibly and pick only the finest crystals for their collection. They deliver their trademark of having a diamond with an impeccable cut. 

If you prefer a genuine sparkling diamond with a good cut, Hearts on Fire is definitely for you. It may come with a hefty price, but it is definitely worth it if you have the budget. 

You can purchase one from their authorized jewelry stores, such as C.D. Peacock, a Chicago-based jewelry company established in 1837. They are a prominent international jeweler that offers fine diamonds, jewelry, and gifts at a fair price. 

Buy your Hearts on Fire Diamonds now! 

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What Is Special About Mikimoto Pearls? (4 Things To Know)

What Is Special About Mikimoto Pearls? (4 Things To Know)

Mikimoto Pearls is a brand name of a jeweler that specializes in creating pearl jewelry from Akoya pearls. The company pioneered cultured pearls in 1893 and is now the biggest name in luxurious, high-quality jewelry featuring cultured pearls.  

Whether you are deep into pearl jewelry or a new entrant, Mikimoto is one of the first names you’ll hear and one of the only names that remain in every pearl conversation.

Because of this, many people wonder what Mikimoto pearls are and what is so special about them. We’ll answer these questions and more in this article.

What are Mikimoto Pearls?

Contrary to what may first come to your mind, Mikimoto Pearls are not pearl types but a brand name. 

Mikimoto Pearls is the name of a jewelry house that creates pearl jewelry using all types of pearls but specializing in Akoya pearls.

Mikimoto Pearls - 4 Things to know 

Here are some important facts you should know about Mikimoto Pearls:

1. Founded by a Kokichi Mikimoto 

The founder of Mikimoto Pearls is a Japanese entrepreneur - Kokichi Mikimoto. In 1888, the visionary noticed that pearl-producing oysters were dwindling, and he set out to grow pearls on a protected oyster farm.

2. The business started in 1893

Kokichi Mikimoto officially entered the pearl business in 1893 when he harvested his first cultured pearl.

3. Patented the art of culturing pearls 

By 1896, he patented his method of cultivating pearls, and by 1899 he opened his first pearl boutique in Tokyo’s Ginza district. He followed this with other shops in Shanghai, Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York.

Mikimoto’s famously said his dream is “to adorn the necks of all the women around the world with pearls.” Today, the world regards him as “the father of cultured pearls,” and Mikimoto Pearls are the standard for measuring other pearls. The brand name, “Mikimoto Pearls,” is synonymous with luxury and the highest quality.

4. Mikimoto Pearl jewelry uses cultured pearls

One question people often ask is whether Mikimoto has authentic pearls. The simple answer is “no.” Mikimoto uses cultured pearls in its jewelry.

Know that real pearls, authentic pearls, or pure pearls mean natural pearls that people get from the ocean. Mikimoto uses pearls that are made in oyster beds/ farms. However, these pearls are as “real” or “authentic” as those sourced from the sea.

What are the Mikimoto Pearl lines?

You will find five (5) product lines (groups of pearl jewelry) under the Mikimoto brand. These are: 

  • Mikimoto Pearls. These are the high-end pearls that the company sells in its stores.
  • Sea Magic. The Sea Magic pearls are high-quality pearls from Mikimoto that the company makes available to some commercial jewelry stores like Kay Jewelers and Zales.
  • Blue Lagoon. Like the sea magic, the Blue Lagoon is also pearl jewelry from Mikimoto available in select jewelry chains. 
  • Zales Signature Collection. These are high-quality pearls that Mikimoto creates and makes available to only Zales Jewelry stores. 
  • Gordon’s Classic Collection. These are high-quality pearls from Mikimoto that are available only in Gordon’s Jewelers.

The Mikimoto Pearls are the highest quality pearl line. The pearls come from the top 5% of each year’s harvest.

However, the gems in the other four (4) product lines come from the top 6% - 10% of pearls harvest. Thus, the Sea Magic, Blue Lagoon, Zales Signature Collection, and Gordon’s Specialty Collection are pearl jewelry with a level of quality below that of Mikimoto Pearls. 

It does not mean that they are low-quality no-good pearls. They are high-quality, luxurious pearls. But they are not in the same league as the Mikimoto Pearls.

Thus, Mikimoto creates these other product lines to allow you to buy a “Mikimoto” brand pearl jewelry at a fraction of the cost of actual “Mikimoto Pearl” jewelry.

How much do the Mikimoto Pearls Cost?

The cost of Mikimoto Pearls ranges from about $250 to as much as $700,000. It all depends on what you want - the jewelry type, level of detailing, types of pearls, etc.

However, whatever Mikimoto jewelry you pick, you will have some of the finest pearls adorning your body. Mikimoto is a luxury that every budget can afford. 

For a 3-figure budget (under $1,000)

There are many earrings, ear cuffs, bracelets, pendants, and necklaces under $1,000. Shop Now

For a 5-figure budget ($10,000 - $99,999)

A 5-figure budget unlocks Mikimoto’s widest product range, allowing you to get some of the company's best luxuries. Shop Now

For a 6-figure budget ($100,000 - $999,999) 

The top-price range of Mikimoto Pearls jewelry features some spell-binding products. Visit one of our locations to shop these products

How are the Mikimoto Pearls graded?

Mikimoto has a proprietary pearl grading system. But the pearl industry now recognizes this grading system.

The main criteria that the pearl grading system looks at are:

  • Luster. Luster describes how well a pearl reflects light from its surface. The more luminous a pearl is, the higher its quality and grade.
  • Surface. Surface describes how blemish-free a pearl is. Fewer surface imperfections mean higher quality and grade.
  • Shape. The more round a pearl is, the higher its quality and grade.

However, the size and color of pearls are important considerations when buying.

  • Size. Large pearls are more difficult to cultivate or find. So, the bigger a pearl, the more it commands. 
  • Color. This is a matter of preference. While white pearls dominate, pearls often come in other colors. The color depends on the oysters producing them.

That said, using luster, surface, and shape, Mikimoto separates pearls into four categories A, A+, AA, and AAA, with AAA being the highest-quality pearls.

Grade

Luster

Surface

AAA

Exceptional, mirror-like reflection

Blemish-free

AA

Superb, clear reflection

Very slightly blemished

A+

Very good, clear reflection

Very slightly blemished

A

Good, clear reflection

Slightly blemished


Within the four grades, Mikimoto has sub-grades as follows A1, A+1, AA1, and AAA1. Pearls in the “1” sub-grade have more surface blemishes than those in the main grade but are cleaner than those in the next lower grade. That is, the surface of an AAA1 pearl is cleaner than that of an AA pearl, but it’s not as clean as that of an AAA pearl.

What makes the Mikimoto Pearls special?

For a one-word answer, “quality” makes Mikimoto Pearl's special. They are some of the best pearls in the market, if not the very best.

All Mikimoto Pearls are from the top 5% of yearly harvests. Then Mikimoto uses its grading system to sort these pearls further. So, if you buy Mikimoto Pearl jewelry, you can be confident that you are getting one of the best pearls.

Are the Mikimoto Pearls worth it?

Mikimoto Pearls are the “Rolls Royce of pearl jewelry.” In terms of quality, Mikimoto Pearls are excellent quality pearls. There is no compromise on this aspect.

However, given that these pearls are relatively expensive, people often wonder whether paying the premium for them is worth it.

When buying Mikimoto Pearls, you’re buying more than the glamorous pearls. You’re also buying the glamorous brand name. Interestingly, the “Mikimoto Pearls” name instantly confers value on pearl jewelry.

It is for this reason that a Mikimoto pearl necklace with the signature clasp is significantly more valuable than one that is missing the clasp.

How do you know your pearls are authentic?

Every Mikimoto pearl jewelry comes with the brand’s trademark. It is usually an engraving of the name “MIKIMOTO.” You’ll find this on clasps of necklaces, shanks of rings, or the backs of earrings. Another trademark is an M-circle logo charm fitted to the jewelry. You’ll find these in pearl strand necklaces and bracelets. 

Where can you buy Mikimoto Pearls?

Mikimoto has stores in major cities of the world. These are some of the best places to buy Mikimoto Pearl jewelry if you want a first-class in-store experience. CD Peacock, which has been in the jewelry business since 1837, is one authorized dealer that carries Mikimoto Pearls.

Conclusion

Mikimoto set out to adorn women's necks worldwide with pearls, and he succeeded.

Today, Mikimoto Pearls are some of the best quality pearl jewelry you’ll find. These glamorous pearl jewelry under the glamorous Mikimoto brand are luxury jewelry. Thankfully, they are luxury pieces that even 3-figure budgets can get.

Visit CD Peacock today and get some of the magical Mikimoto Pearls jewelry.

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Are Mikimoto Pearls a Good Investment?

Are Mikimoto Pearls a Good Investment?

Mikimoto pearls, especially the vintage ones, can be a good investment provided they have their original clasp, the original box, and proper paperwork establishing their provenance. The top-grade (AAA) Mikimoto pearls have the best chance to appraise in value and, thus, are best for investment. 

Genuine Mikimoto pearls are highly sought after and continue to fetch top dollar on resale. However, if you are considering investing in some Mikimoto pearls, you must keep a few things in mind to avoid mistakes. 

Let's dig deep and see why Mikimoto pearls can be a great investment if you play your cards right!

How Valuable are Mikimoto Pearls? 

According to a recent study, the global pearl jewelry market is set to reach $25 billion by 2025 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%. Mikimoto pearls, one of the most valued cultured pearls on the planet, are in the perfect position to capture a fair chunk of this projected growth. 

Mikimoto Akoya pearls can range from $300 for a pair of 7 mm studs to over $500,000, depending on the collection and grade of pearls. A lower quality (A+) grade pearl necklace can set you back between $3,000 to $7,000, with flawless AAA grade pearls costing several thousand dollars.  

One of the biggest reasons for the high price of Mikimoto's pearls is their stringent grading system. The pearls come in four grades- A, A+, AA, and AAA. While the A-grade pearls are the lowest quality, the AAA pearls are the best. 

Another reason for the high value of these pearls is the craftsmanship that goes into making the jewelry. Whether a simple ear stud or an elaborate piece of jewelry, the craftsmanship is world-class, making Mikimoto's one of the most valuable brands in the industry. 

The value of the pearls also depends on their lineage. If the pearls are exotic and have some history associated with them that can be proven; their cost can skyrocket in auctions.

So Mikimoto pearls are some of the most valued cultured pearls in the world and are sourced from the top 5% of the yearly harvest. They have some of the most luxurious pearl collections in the world. 

The brand offers exquisite designs in almost every pearl type, including:

  • Cultured Akoya
  • Tahitians (From French Polynesia) 
  • South Sea Pearls
  • Exotic natural pearls (Conch and Melo-Melo)

However, Mikimoto is best known for its cultured Japanese Akoya pearls. 

Do Mikimoto Pearls Hold Their Value?

Mikimoto pearls hold their value provided they retain their high quality and have the original clasp, box, and the proper paperwork. It's normal for pearls to wear over time, especially if not properly cared for during storage. Take good care of your pearls; they will hold their value longer. 

It is important to take good care of your Mikimoto pearls if you want them to hold their value. As pearls are organic gemstones, they are susceptible to chemicals like acids and alkalis. Excessive humidity can also damage your pearls. 

How to Take Care of Your Mikimoto Pearls, so They Hold Their Value?

Unlike other gemstones such as diamonds, pearls are much more fragile and need your love and care to retain their pristine appearance. Here are a few tips to take care of your pearls:

  • Avoid direct contact of your pearls with cosmetic products, hairsprays, and perfumes.
  • Always wear your pearl jewelry as a “final touch” after you finish your hair and make-up.
  • Your sweat can also cause damage to the luster of your Miki's. So, before returning them to the box, wipe them off gently with a soft cloth to remove the sweat.  
  • Always store your pearls in the original box to avoid scuffing and scratching. 
  • Mikimoto pearl necklaces are strung with the finest silk, but the string can lose its strength over time. Get your pearls restrung at least once a year to avoid the catastrophe of a broken necklace. 
  • Never clean your Miki's yourself. If you notice the luster is fading away and your pearls need cleaning, take them to a specialist. The pearl specialists use an ultrasonic cleaner to clean the pearls gently without scratching or damaging them.  

Properly cared Mikimoto pearls have been passed on as heirlooms in many families. So, take good care of your pearls, and they will retain their value for years to come. 

Do Mikimoto Pearls Increase in Value Over Time? 

Pearls have become a bit of a fashion statement in recent years. The demand for pearls has been on the rise with a resurgence in pop culture across the globe. Pearls are also becoming popular among young men in their 20's and 30's. 

Depending on their condition and pedigree, Mikimoto pearls can increase in value over time. Larger, AAA-grade pearls with good provenance have continued to fetch millions in auctions. There is no reason this trend won't continue in the future.   

Mikimoto pearls are cultured and not mined like other precious gemstones, including diamonds, which are much more ecologically friendly. As more people become environmentally aware, the demand and, hence, the value of these pearls is sure to go up. 

Besides, if you have Mikimoto pearls that have well-documented provenance, they are sure to increase in value over time. 

The company's newest Passionoir Collection features black South Sea pearls in rhodium-plated silver. The collection is one of the company's first gender-neutral collections. Although not much can be said about the appreciation of these pearls, if trends are to be believed, they are set to explode in popularity in the coming years. 

As Mikimoto enjoys a surge in brand recognition, the pearls are projected to increase in value. However, it would help if you remembered that these are trends and speculations. Only time will tell if the predictions hold true in the coming years and decades. 

Stay Away from Sea Magic and Blue Lagoon Collections

If you want to invest in Mikimoto pearls, you should avoid the Sea Magic and Blue Lagoon pearl lines. Both of these collections feature lower-quality Akoya pearls that might not appreciate over the years. 

Although the collections can be a great option for your first Mikimoto pearl set, you should avoid them if your motive is purely an investment. 

Don't get me wrong, the Sea Magic and Blue Lagoon are great pearls in their own right, but they can't compete with the high-end AAA-grade Mikimoto pearls. 

If you plan to purchase Mikimoto pearls, make sure to buy the collection sold under their brand name - Mikimoto. The signature collection features the finest pearls the company can provide and has the best possible chance to appreciate over the years. 

Remember, the value of the pearls will depend on whether you have all the original components, including the box and the paperwork. So, keep your documents in order if you buy the pearls as an investment. 

Are Mikimoto Pearls the Best? 

Without mincing words, Mikimoto pearls are the best-cultured pearls money can buy, period. However, brands like Tiffany's offer similar quality products and the legacy of Mikimoto is what puts them right on the top. 

If you are looking to buy pearls that have a chance to appreciate over time, Mikimoto is the way to go. 

The Takeaway

Mikimoto pearls can be a good investment provided you invest wisely and in the right collection. You must remember that, unlike diamonds, pearls will degrade over time, and you must take good care of these precious gemstones to hold their value.  

Here at C.D. Peacock, we offer some of the best Mikimoto pearl collections in the country. We have hundreds of options, from ear studs and rings to classic necklaces and brooches. 

Visit us online or at one of our three showrooms in Chicago to experience the irresistible lure of the Mikimoto pearls! 

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How Are Mikimoto Pearls Graded?

How Are Mikimoto Pearls Graded?

Mikimoto pearls grading follows the five criteria in Mikimoto's proprietary system. The AAA, AA, A+, and A grading is stringent. Mikimoto has a culture of excellence through their grading system, emphasized when Kokichi Mikimoto set on fire substandard pearls in 1932. 

To date, out of the hundreds of cultured pearls the brand scrutinizes, only 5% are selected as the best. Some of these are the most luxurious Akoya pearls. No wonder Mikimoto cultured saltwater pearls are highly valued. 

The natural pearls fetch an even higher price since they are rare. It can take two to four years for a natural pearl to form. A mollusk only produces nacre three years into maturity, to expound on how hard it is to find a natural pearl.

Interestingly, natural pearls are mummified parasites! When parasites like the pearlfish swim into their shells and delicate bodies (to hide from predators), marine oysters and clams form layers and layers of aragonite and conchiolin. 

They create nacre or the mother-of-pearl as a defense mechanism. Eventually, the oysters entomb the parasite wholly, forming a unique pearl. Other irritants are sand and dust.

We celebrate Mikimoto for discovering the classic Akoya variety. It has a perfectly round shape, mirror-like reflection, is white, classic, and is every woman's dream.

In this post, you'll discover what Mikimoto pearls are, the Mikimoto pearls grading system, and how to tell a genuine Mikimoto pearl from a fake one. Let's get into it!

What are the Mikimoto pearls?

Mikimoto is a brand named after the originator of cultured pearls, Mikimoto Kokichi. It has several lines of pearls, namely the Gordon classic collection, Zales signature collection, Blue Lagoon, Sea Magic, and Akoya Pearls synonymous with the Mikimoto brand.

Mikimoto creates jewelry from all pearl types. The five types of pearls are the Akoya pearl, black Tahitian, Sea of Cortez, Freshwater, and white and golden South Seas. 

However, they are best known for the Japanese Akoya. The Pinctada fucata (martensii)-the scientific name for pearl oyster, which makes the Akoya pearl, lives in the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean around Japan.

Most pearls today are cultured. These genuine cultured pearls form after an irritant is introduced into an oyster. 

In 1893, Kokichi successfully cultured the first Akoya pearl after trying many times to get a solution to end the harvesting of natural pearls, which were in high demand then. He was afraid the oysters would become an endangered species in Japan.

Pearls can come from any kind of mollusk, bivalved or spiral. They look different depending on the type of shell that made them. 

The cultured pearls making process

In 1896, Mikimoto got a patent for his method of growing pearls. Cultured pearls are due to human intervention. Jewelers introduce an irritant, a beaded nucleus, and mantle tissue in the oyster's gonad, and in response, the oyster begins to produce pearls.

Baby oysters are nurtured on the Ojima, pearl Island, on the Ise coast for two years before being nucleated. The nucleation process is the most crucial part of making a pearl.

Mikimoto uses a small piece of mantle tissue from another oyster and a bead made from a freshwater shell in the nucleation process. Afterward, the oysters are put in oyster beds in a bay with calm water to heal. 

The transfer of pearls to regions with strong currents and tidal exchanges is next. Here, they will be cared for as they grow into pearls.

The layering of nacre on pearls thickens dramatically over the winter months since the metabolism of the oysters slows down.

Harvesting and selecting cultured pearls 

When it's time to harvest, the oysters are brought to shore and carefully opened. Harvesting of pearls is by hand.

These pearls are then sorted and graded. Mikimoto only selects the best gems to make Mikimoto jewelry always to maintain the highest standards and quality. 

Mikimoto discovered that round pearls carved from mussel shells originating in America are ideal nuclei for round cultured pearls. 

How thick the nacre is determines a pearl's luster or mirror-like reflection. Only the best quality and luster can carry the name Mikimoto pearls.

Mikimoto pearls grading system

The five-point grading system looks at luster, surface, color, shape, and size. Eventually, Mikimoto grades the pearls as AAA, AA, A+, or A. Grade AAA has a mirror-like reflection and close to no blemished surface. The AA is superb, with clear reflection and a slightly blemished surface. A+ is very good and A good.

Pearl luster 

Pearl luster is the amount of light a pearl reflects or its glow. The surface quality and nacre thickness determine luster—the thicker the nacre, the better the luster.

It is generally possible to determine the longevity and quality of nucleated pearls by looking at the thickness of the nacre coating the surface of the pearl. The longer the pearls are allowed to develop, the thicker the nacre will become.

Surface and blemishes

Mikimoto looks at the blemishes or tiny marks on the pearl. Naturally, a pearl should have very slight blemishes.

Pearl color

Different pearls have different colors: creamy white, blue, green, gray, and black. Hard-to-find colors are more valuable, like the South Sea peacock green and gold shade pearls.

However, rich, evenly distributed, or matching colors are considered high-quality pearls.

Most people prefer creamy white with pink overtones or rose-pink Akoya pearls.

Pearl shape

Mikimoto aims for the best spherical pearls of premium quality. How close to a sphere the pearl is, determines its grading. Other shapes like baroque, oval, and teardrop are also famous for their uniqueness.

The diameter determines the pearl size

The size of the pearls depends on the diameter, typically in millimeters. Size does not affect the price tag but determines which outfit goes well with the neck pieces. Also, larger sizes are more valuable.

How to maintain your pearls grade

To prevent your pearls from becoming brittle and losing their color, keep them away from direct sunlight and do not store them in warm surroundings. 

You should also avoid using airtight containers or bags for storage.

The pearls will stay hydrated if you add a wet cotton ball to the fabric pouch you use to store them.

Wear them regularly to keep them hydrated from your body oils, but wipe them with a soft cloth after each use.

Do not soak them in water for a long time; use running water and mild soap. Leaving the pearls in water for long affects the mother-of-pearl.

Because of their delicate nature (soft), you should keep your pearls in a separate material pouch to prevent damage from rubbing on other items.

How to distinguish genuine Mikimoto pearls

You will know Mikimoto pearls are authentic by looking for a trademark. Every strand has an oyster outline and a capital M inside the clamshell, engraved on the necklace's or bracelet clasp's underside. 

Look for the trademark 

For rings, look for the iconic M on the shank's inside. For earrings, look for the full name Mikimoto imprinted on the back of the stem. The writings might be too small, and you will need a magnifying glass to see them.

There is also a dangling metalmark M in newer pieces (bracelets and necklaces.

A necklace will have a double knot on each pearl to stop them from rubbing on each other and falling off fast if the necklace breaks. The clasp must also be an 18K gold clasp for newer pieces and a sterling for very old pieces.

Here are other things to check.

General pearl quality

Any evidence of thin or inconsistent nacre in Mikimoto cultivated pearls should be a red flag. Be wary when you find defects and inconsistencies on the surface or between pearls in a string. 

Mikimoto artisans meticulously pair the pearls of Mikimoto to maintain their uniform size and flawless spherical surface.

Pearls should not look chalky white, and the brilliance of the luster must be evident. 

The strand's material and quality

When buying a necklace or bracelet, check the strand to see how well it's threaded and the quality. Mikimoto commonly threads their pearls with a silk strand. 

However, please note that vintage Mikimoto pearl necklace strands are likely restrung.

Have the pearls appraised

Expert jewelers can identify the distinct Mikimoto oyster outline with an M under a microscope. You can have them appraise your pearls and authenticate them, especially if they are a family heirloom.

Mikimoto Mark 

Unfortunately, unscrupulous traders will attach the clasp to fake pearls and sell them at the price of genuine ones. So, you need to master the art of distinguishing them. 

Conclusion

Mikimoto Pearls are graded based on luster, color, size, shape, and surface blemishes. The four grading systems are AAA, AA, A+, and A.

AAA pearls are exceptional and lustrous; you can see yourself in them. AAA pearls have close to no blemishes. 

Grade A is the lowest grade but still high quality, and the pearls have slight blemishes and good luster.

Check out C.D. Peacock Mikimoto jewelry. You can never go wrong with the celebrity-endorsed and Chicago-approved jeweler who has been handling and selling jewelry since 1837.

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