Quality Counts! A Spotlight on Mikimoto Pearls
Pearls have been worn in wedding ceremonies since the time of the Ancient Greeks. The gem, which was believed to represent the purity of a couple’s love, supposedly kept the bride from crying on her big day and brought the couple marital bliss. Throughout history, iconic women such as Cleopatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Coco Chanel have all incorporated pearls into their wardrobes.
Elizabeth Taylor, long known as a connoisseur of fine jewelry, received the “La Peregrina” pearl as a gift from Richard Burton. La Peregrina was originally a prominent feature of the Spanish Crown Jewels and has been worn most notably by Queen Mary I of England. The pearl was, at the time, one of the largest natural pearls ever discovered. It originally weighed about 56.0ct, roughly the size of a quail egg. Taylor and Burton asked Cartier to create a ruby and diamond necklace to hang the large pearl on, and the French jewelers certainly delivered. The necklace went to auction in 2011 and sold for a whopping $11.8 million, outselling the famous 33ct Krupp Diamond ring by almost 3 million dollars!
Pearls, like diamonds, are graded using various factors to determine their value. With diamonds we use the 4 C’s (cut, color, clarity, and carat weight) but pearls are measured by five factors: color, size, shape, surface perfection, and luster. It is even more important to purchase a high quality pearl than it is to purchase a high quality diamond. Diamonds are one of the hardest substances in the world; as a result, they are fairly resistant to damage. Even if you purchase a mediocre diamond, it’s very rare to see it change over time. Pearls, by comparison, are more fragile- they’re organic gemstones which require proper care in order to maintain their resiliency and luster. The saying “Pearls want to be worn” is extremely true! Enjoying your pearls on a regular basis rather than keeping them locked up in a security box for extended periods of time will keep them from becoming dehydrated. A low quality pearl may lose it’s luster, or shine, over time. That is why it’s so important you buy pearls from Mikimoto, the industry leading brand with strict quality standards.
Mikimoto is the originator of the cultured pearl. Only 3-5 out of every 100 pearls harvested is deemed worthy to carry the Mikimoto name. Since 1893, Mikimoto has set the industry’s standard for high-quality pearls. The brand refuses to over-harvest their product, ensuring that each pearl has the proper amount of time to form a thick nacre shell. Kokichi Mikimoto once burned thousands of pearls deemed low quality to make a poignant public statement- his company would rather take low quality pearls out of the global market than sell them to consumers.
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With proper care, a high-quality pearl can last for generations. The pearl strand you wore while walking down the aisle can one day be passed down to your granddaughter for her wedding day. With Mikimoto, it’s even possible to match your grandmother’s old pearls with new ones to create perfectly matched pieces of jewelry. Pearls are timeless, elegant, and valuable gems which can be enjoyed and passed down for generations.