When it comes to completing an outfit, many fashionistas choose jewelry as their finishing touch. You can find beautiful pieces in many styles, shapes, sizes, and colors, all of which can spruce up any look and take it to a whole new fashion level.
Out of the various types of jewelry available, Akoya pearls are often the most preferred choice among jewelry lovers. In fact, this gem is what most people think of when they picture the perfect set of white beads, ideal for completing any casual or formal look. Their timeless appearance and lustrous beauty instantly manage to steal the show, suiting women of all skin tones, ages, and fashion styles.
To help you gain a better understanding of this pearl type, we have written the ultimate guide elaborating on what makes Akoya pearls so special.
Origin of Akoya pearls
Akoya pearls are a type of saltwater pearl that is harvested from the Pinctada fucata oyster found in the coastal waters of Japan. They are typically small in size and come in a wide range of colors with white, cream, pink, and silver being the most common ones.
Because natural Akoyas are extremely rare and valuable, all Japanese Akoya pearls are cultivated today, using the traditional Japanese method of pearl farming introduced by Mikimoto Kokichi. The method involves surgically implanting a small bead into the oyster, called the nucleus, to stimulate the production of nacre. It takes about two years for the oyster to produce a fully formed pearl which is just as beautiful and timeless as the natural Akoya pearls.
Characteristics of Akoya pearls
When it comes to grading the quality of Akoya pearls, there are several characteristics that are taken into consideration. The most important ones include shape, size, color, luster, and surface quality.
When it comes to shape, cultured Akoya pearls are perfectly round, making them the best option for creating timeless pearl strands. The beads are typically small in size, with the average Akoya pearl ranging from 3.00 mm to 9.5 mm.
As for color, Akoya pearls usually come in various shades of white, with soft overtones of rose, cream, and silver. Their luster is one of the brightest of all pearl types, creating their signature mirror-like beauty.
Spotting real vs. fake Akoya pearls
Ever since the discovery of pearls in ancient times, people have been using machines to produce fake ones. So, when you are shopping for Akoya pearls, it is important to know how to spot the fake ones so you don’t end up with faux pearl jewelry in your collection. There are some tricks you can try to help you tell if your Akoya jewelry is real.
For instance, you can try the tooth test which involves softly rubbing the pearl against your tooth. If the pearl is natural or cultural, the surface will feel gritty. If the bead is faux, then the surface will feel smooth.
Also, you can look at the surface quality of the Akoya pearls and see if there are any imperfections. Usually, real pearls have tiny irregularities in their shape, size, and color, whereas fake pearls are usually smooth, perfectly round, and have a glassy, unnatural look.
Styling Akoya pearls
One of the best things about Akoya pearls is that they can be styled with anything. Whether you are wearing denim jeans and a button-down shirt when running errands or attending a formal event wearing an elegant gown, you can rely on your Akoya pearl jewelry to spruce up your look.
Usually, most women opt for the classic pearl strand to add a touch of flair and elegance to their outfits. For a more sophisticated look, they often pair the necklace with matching pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet.
Besides wearing pearls in the form of jewelry, many fashionistas also wear them as hair accessories to create stunning looks.
If you are thinking about enriching your jewelry collection with pearls, then Akoya pearls are your best option. They are considered the best pearl type due to their unique characteristics that make them the ideal choice for women of all fashion styles, skin tones, and ages.
If you want to know more about Akoya pearls, be sure to refer to our post and learn what makes these unique white gems so special.