The first saltwater pearls to be cultured successfully came from the Akoya Pearl oyster, Pinctada fucata.
Akoya Pearls have been considered the world’s best known pearls since the 1930s. They are most often round and spherical; though, can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. The average size of an Akoya Pearl ranges from 2-10 millimeters.
Their colors are subtle and rich—a palette of ivory, cream, rosé, silver, gold and leaf green; typically characterized by a white or gold body color with a variety of beautiful pink, yellow and green hues.
Cultivated in the relatively cool and calm seas of Japan and China, the Akoya Pearl oyster reacts to seasonal changes, producing nacre of intense luminosity. This intense luminosity gives the pearls a breathtaking luster.
The culturing process of Akoya Pearls – from nucleation to harvest – generally spans 10-18 months. Less than five percent of nucleated Akoya Pearls are considered high-quality as many of the oysters do not survive nucleation. Japanese Akoya Pearls are typically considered higher quality than Chinese Akoya Pearls due to their bright luster and thicker nacre.
A long-time favorite of designers, the Akoya Pearl is a fashion and bridal classic as well as the traditional collectible-one pearl for every special occasion.
The white Japanese Akoya Pearl is the classic cultured pearl most think of when the word ‘pearl’ is mentioned.