Akoya pearls can be found in all types of jewelry but mainly they are strung into necklaces. They can be worn with anything from casual clothes, business attires, to formal wear. These pearls are often passed from generation to generation, and in many cultures Akoya pearls are a customary piece in a bride's wedding ensemble.
Akoya Pearl Colors
Shape & Size
Due to the small size of an akoya oyster, cultured akoya pearls are also fairly small. These cultured pearls range from 5-9 mm. Akoya pearls are the most common stringing pearls because their rating in the matching factor is “excellent” and most of their crop is round or near-round. However, nature is never completely predictable and in an akoya pearl harvest there are still some baroques, semi-baroques, and occasionally drops.
In the early 1900’s Japan cultured around 100,000 oysters a year which reached up to 11 million a year by 1938. When World War II reached Japan and destroyed its infrastructure, it destroyed the pearl cultivating industry as well. However, after 1945 during the post war period, Japan was met with little to no competition and when European and American markets craved pearls, they once again became Japan’s main export.
Business was exceptionally well until 1967 when the production of cultured akoya pearls exceeded the demand resulting in the bankruptcy of many Japanese businesses. The Japanese government noticed the overproduction and provided some regulatory assistance to keep the industry thriving and still today Japan is the leader in importing and exporting pearls around the world.