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 example:
For a 3-figure budget (under $1,000)
There are many earrings, ear cuffs, bracelets, pendants, and necklaces under $1,000.
- Mikimoto Akoya Cultured Pearl Ear Cuff. This cuff is for you if you are on a budget but want a Mikimoto pearl to adorn your unpierced ear. The cuff features a 6.5mm Akoya pearl set in silver. It'll cost you only $250.
MIKIMOTO AKOYA CULTURED PEARL CIRCLE PENDANT IN 18K WHITE GOLD. You can buy a luxury Mikimoto necklace on a budget. This delightful necklace features a classic chain design and a round Akoya pearl as a pendant. The price is only $1300.
Mikimoto Akoya Cultured Pearl Ring in Yellow Gold. Who says your jewelry must have only one pearl because you’re on a budget. This Mikimoto ring has seven (7) 3.5mm Akoya Pearls set in 18k yellow gold. It will cost you only $920.
For a 4-figure budget ($1,000 - $9,999)
With a 4-figure budget, you can access even more Mikimono luxury. For example:
- Mikimoto 16” Akoya Cultured Pearl Strand Necklace. Stun with this exquisite pearl strand necklace which features 8x7.5mm Akoya Pearls and an 18k white gold clasp. It is just $3,120
- Mikimoto Akoya Cultured Pearl and Diamond Double Row Bracelet. Your hand will be the center of attention with this beautiful bracelet that features two rows of 6x5.5mm Akoya cultured pearls with 0.10ct diamonds set in 18k white gold. It cost just $4,100.
- Mikimoto Akoya Cultured Pearl and Diamond Brooch. This delightful pearl jewelry lets you wow with a 6.5mm Akoya cultured pearl in the middle of a bow-shape brooch featuring 0.65ct diamonds set in 18k white gold. With all the diamonds, gold, pearl, and amazing design, it will cost you just $7,800.
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. For example:
- Mikimoto Golden South Sea Cultured Pearl and Diamond Earrings. Who says pearls must be white? These drop earrings feature mesmeric 11mm brown pearls and 0.44ct diamonds set in 18k yellow gold. It is just $11,000.
- Mikimoto White South Sea Cultured Pearl and Diamond Circle Pendant. Pair this elegant pendant with any necklace for the perfect look. It features a 13mm pearl in the middle of a spiral design with 2.13ct diamonds set in 18k white gold. It cost just $33,000.
- Mikimoto Jeux De Rubans Double Strands Necklace. Stun with this graceful creation that turns the simple ribbon design into something exotic. It features 9.5x4mm Akoya cultured pearls and 4.19ct diamonds set in white gold. The fluid double-strand beauty cost $75,000.
For a 6-figure budget ($100,000 - $999,999)
The top-price range of Mikimoto Pearls jewelry features some spell-binding products. For example:
- Mikimoto Baroque Cultured Pearl and Diamond Necklace. You’ll be gorgeous wearing this one-of-a-kind piece that combines a pearl strand and a diamond flower motif. The soft radiance of the 17.1x15.4mm pearls perfect the vibrant radiance of the 10.21ct diamond set in 18k white gold. It cost $212,000.
- Mikimoto Classic White South Sea Cultured Pearl and Diamond Necklace. Wear this necklace, and you’ll be the star of the show. Each pearl (12 - 13mm) sits in a flower design featuring glimmering diamonds (53.98cttw) and white gold (18k) petals. It cost $700,000.
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.
Exceptional, mirror-like reflection
Superb, clear reflection
Very slightly blemished
Very good, clear reflection
Very slightly blemished
Good, clear reflection
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.
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.