The Beauty of Japanese Akoya Pearls
Akoya pearls are really special. They are cultivated off the coast of Japan by Jewelry house Tasaki, specifically at Japan’s verdant Saikai National Park in the Kujukushima Islands. (Related topics: pearl oyster suppliers, freshwater pearl necklace set, pearl in oysters kits fundraising)
Kuroshima, also known as “Black Island”, is the heart of this beautiful archipelago that runs deep and rich with pearl farming territory. The jewelry house Tasaki has operated a pearl farm along with many other local produce and jewelry houses in the area for over 70 years. They cultivate around one million Akoya oysters per year.
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Akoya pearls are special for many reasons, one of them being that they’re often smaller than pearls found elsewhere in the world. They have an average diameter of 7 to 8 millimeters. However, what makes them truly special and so coveted is their perfect round shape and the brilliance and shine they have.
The bestsellers at Hose Tasaki are the signature rings featuring a row of five seemingly identical Akoya pearls. For the jeweler to be able to produce pearls of uniform size, shape, color, and luster, it’s necessary to own pearl farms and closely controlling the production process. In February, they start farming, with the artificial “seeding” of the oysters, which are incubated for around three months, before they are ready to live in the sea.
Cultivating the oysters under the right conditions is the biggest challenge for pearl farmers because oysters thrive in temperatures between 50 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping the mollusks clean is crucial. Masato Yamashita, who has over 40 years of pearl farming experience says: “So it takes a lot of time and effort to keep them [oysters] constantly clean.”
Growing oysters near the coast is preferable, as there are less fish or other predators. Further, the sea surrounding the Kujukushima Islands is also rich in plankton, which the oysters feed on. Pearl farming first emerged in Japan at the turn of the 20th century but they have certainly perfected the art of cultivating the perfect more lustrous pearls in no time.