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mikimoto shares its impeccable pearl selection techniques!

Summary: Distinguished for its luster and beauty the brand uses the most stringent methods to ensure highest quality in pearls

Distinguished for its luster and beauty the brand uses the most stringent methods to ensure highest quality in pearls

Mikimoto, the legendary pearling pioneer and renowned jeweller, continues to enthrall and capture the minds and hearts of all jewellery lovers across the world with its dazzling pearls. As the originator of Cultured Pearls, Mikimoto maintains the strictest quality standards. Each pearl harvested is as different and individual as a fingerprint, making it essential to follow quality grading standards.

Impeccable standards of excellence distinguish Mikimoto's pearls, setting them apart. Its proprietary grading system is unique and based on four factors: luster, colour, shape and surface perfection of each pearl. It utilises only the top 5% of the annual harvest. Jewellers often refer to the best pearls as being of 'Mikimoto quality'. Its pearl collections celebrate the timeless beauty of pearls in a choice selection of gold, diamonds and semi-precious stones and its pearl strands are cherished works of art.

Five physical factors determine the quality of pearls and are important to understand while buying pearls which are luster, surface perfection, colour, shape and size.

1. LUSTER - Luster is the surface glow, as well as the deep mirror-like reflection of light, or 'inner light'. Nacre quality in cultured pearls improves the overall luster. Many even layers of nacre are required to create a highly defined spectrum of colour. Only the highest quality pearls with the best luster carry the Mikimoto name.

2. SURFACE PERFECTION - As a product of nature, tiny marks found on pearls are part of their natural texture and are proof of the genuineness of a cultured pearl. These blemishes are produced by outside sea particles and objects that find their way into the oyster and brush against the pearl. A pearl is considered more valuable when the surface imperfections are minimal.

3. COLOUR - Pearls have a wide spectrum of colours such as cream, gray, green, blue and pink but the most popular are white and pink rosE[umlaut] because these shades flatter the widest range of skin tones. Colour is based on preference, but it is always important to find a colour that is rich and evenly distributed on the pearl.

4. SHAPE - Although many shapes are available, perfectly round pearls are the rarest and most valuable. Button pearls are round on one side and flat on the opposite end. Other shapes like tear drop and baroque are also favoured because of their uniqueness.

5. SIZE - The price of a pearl is dependant on its size. As larger pearls are difficult to cultivate they are more expensive. Pearls are measured in diameter increments of millimeters (mm). The classic Akoya pearl generally ranges from 3.5mm to 10mm in size. South Sea (white, golden, or black) pearl sizes begin at 8mm and can be as large as 18mm.

So, the next time you are shopping for pearls, do look for the above qualities, to ensure 'value for your money' or just ask for Mikimoto where all the hard work is already done for you!

Mikimoto's fabulous array of jewellery collections is available at select Damas Les Exclusives stores.

About Mikimoto:"I would like to adorn the necks of all the women of the world with pearls," Kokichi Mikimoto said shortly after he succeeded in culturing a pearl on July 11, 1893, the first time in history anyone had done so. The elegant beauty of its pearls soon won women over, fulfilling his wish as Mikimoto came to be recognized all around the globe. Kokichi's next project was to try culturing Black South Sea pearl oysters on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa. In 1931 he succeeded in his mission with the production of a giant pearl, 10mm in diameter. The pioneer also actively encouraged the development of local pearl industries on previously underdeveloped islands. His contribution is so significant to the development of these islands that the name 'Mikimoto' is spoken of with reverence even to this day. Its marvelous array of jewels blends Japanese and Western design aesthetics to offer timeless pieces. In 1969 Mikimoto won the prestigious DeBeers Diamonds International Award for its brooch "Prelude to Space." Today it has more than 25 boutiques worldwide, including flagship stores in Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Shanghai and HongKong. 2009 Al Bawaba (

2009 Al Bawaba (

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Date:Sep 8, 2009
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