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Akoya Pearls

Cultivated in Japan in the Pinctada Fucata pearl oyster


Kokichi Mikimoto first brought akoya pearls to the worlds attention and can be rightly named the inventor of akoya pearls or the originator of akoya pearls, otherwise widely known as cultured pearls or akoya cultured pearls.

Mikimoto first created an akoya pearl in July of 1893 and laboured all his life to bring these fabulous round akoya pearls to the world stage, establishing retail stores around the world, and also exhibiting at World Fairs and expositions.

Prior to akoya pearls becoming commercially available in the early 1900’s, Natural pearls were all that was available of Faux pearls, and the prices of Natural pearls were exorbitant, a string of natural pearls could be worth more than a house in those days, especially in the 1920’s when the popularity of pearls was through the roof! Akoya pearls were so much more affordable and Japan’s akoya cultured pearl production fed the burgeoning world market for akoya pearls.

Akoya pearls average 6 millimetres in size are mostly round in shape occasionally baroque. Akoya pearls are most often white in colour with pink overtones and occasionally and very rarely blue in colour. Akoya pearls express iridescence the rainbow play of colours on the surface.

A beautiful strand of Akoya Pearls, a stunning white-pink in colour, with a AAA luster these pearls really glow. The skin grade is 1-2, and the shape is round. The pearls are slightly graduated in size from 6mm to 6.5mm. The necklace is fastened with a 7mm round, 9 carat yellow gold ball clasp and strung to a length of 43cm long.
A necklace consisting of beautiful baroque shaped Akoya Pearls, silver- blue in colour, grade 2 with a AAA luster. The pearls graduate in size from 8mm at the back to 9mm at the front. The necklace is fastened with a sterling silver push clasp and strung to the length of 45 cm
Akoya Pearl Cluster Earring

More About Akoya Pearls

Akoya pearls are very lustrous due to the deposits of layers of nacre, the actual pearl coating that coats the bead or shell nucleus that a technician places in the mantel tissue of the host akoya pearl oyster to commence the cultured pearl process, a true symbiosis of man and Nature, that results usually in the cycle of one year, in the production of an akoya cultured pearl.

Akoya pearls are most usually sold as akoya pearl necklaces otherwise known as akoya pearl strands and are often sold accompanied by matching akoya pearl studs.

Akoya pearl strands come in a variety of necklace lengths.

  • A choker necklace is usually 16 inches or 40.6 Centimetres in length.
  • A Princess necklace is usually 18 inches or 45 Centimetres in length.
  • An opera length necklace is usually 32 inches or 82 Centimetres in length.
  • A rope necklace is usually 34/36 inches or 86/ 92 Centimetres in length.
  • Akoya pearl necklaces range from 2 to 3 millimetres in diameter, perfect for multi strands up to a very rare 10 millimetres in size, the starter size of most south sea cultured pearls cultivated in Australia.
  • A very popular size for an akoya pearl necklace is 6.5-7 millimetres.

Akoya pearl studs are also a best seller in the pearl world. Bright lustrous elegant and simple yet perennially fashionable. A typical size for akoya pearl studs is 5, 6, or 7 millimetres in diameter, usually set in gold or silver as simple studs. At Aquarian Pearls we like to supply a larger than average very generous butterfly fitting to hold your akoya studs in place easily and comfortably.

Akoya Pearl Earrings

Most popular for akoya pearl earrings as discussed are studs. However there are endless designs possible using different sizes of akoya cultured pearls for the jeweller or designer to create akoya pearl earrings and these might be akoya pearl dangles, akoya pearl clip ons, akoya pearl shepherd hooks, or akoya pearl huggies. The perfect partner to an akoya pearl necklace, topped off with an akoya pearl bracelet, and perhaps an akoya pearl brooch. Akoya pearl earrings are the most beautiful expression of elegance with their strong lustre and white pink colouring, classic, elegant and perennially fashionable. One can never go wrong with akoya pearl earrings as a favoured piece of jewellery in your collection.

Akoya Pearl Necklaces

An Akoya Pearl necklace is a staple of a jewellery wardrobe, whatever the length or size. Recently Aquarian Pearls have been selling a lot of bright natural coloured blue akoya necklaces and champage coloured akoya necklaces. Both these varieties of akoya pearl necklace are natural in colour and have made very good ropes of pearls, typically strung, clasped and knotted as opera length akoya pearl necklaces that can be wound around the neck two times if preferred. Whether it be a blue akoya pearl necklace or a white akoya pearl necklace or a champagne akoya pearl necklace, Aquarian Pearls carry an extensive range in their stock of pearls and the Aquarian Pearls staff will be delighted to help you choose the perfect akoya pearl necklace for your tastes. Forever in fashion, the akoya pearl necklace like a pair of akoya pearl earrings are a very special part of any fine jewellery collection.

Popular among the rich and famous

Through the years notable akoya pearl wearers include Coco Chanel, Marilyn Munroe, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Grace of Monaco formerly Grace Kelly of Hollywood, Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Scarlett Johannsen, Sharon Stone, Julie Bishop, Juliet Gillard, Sophia Loren, Barbara Bush, the list goes on and on!

Nowadays men are increasingly seen wearing akoya pearls including in recent times Sir Rod Stewart while singing at Queen Elizabeth 2nd Diamond Jubilee concert in London, and Sir Lewis Hamilton, one of the Formula One Grand Prix’s most successful drivers, and pop star Harry Styles, to name just three such gentlemen seen and photographed wearing akoya pearls.

Akoya pearl bracelets are also popular, usually a single row, but often a smaller sized multistrand makes a beautiful piece of jewellery.

Always in fashion, akoya cultured pearls are a fabulous accessory for your wardrobe and seem to go with most colours and styles of clothing.

A traditional 21 st birthday, graduation or wedding present, Akoya pearls have been presented or gifted to celebrate these life milestones ever since their creation and invention over a hundred years ago in Japan. Mikimoto surely gave the world one of the best of creations and inventions, the fabulous akoya pearl!

At Aquarian Pearls we all sincerely wish you to enjoy your purchase of these vibrant, lively, gorgeous gems that are akoya pearls.