Akoya Pearl Necklace:
Japanese mistakenly refer to all the cultured pearls of Akoya, not paying attention to where it was grown. In the modern industry, Japanese pearls are only called pearls, which were cultivated directly in Japan, as now it is supplied by such countries as China, South Korea, Vietnam and Australia.
The cultivation of the akoya pearl occurs in the bivalve mollusc Pinctada, usually the species Pinctada fucata or Pinctada chemnitzi. Pinctada fucata live in the coastal waters of Japan, and Pinctada chemnitzi are more common in Tonkin Bay and along the coastline of China. Currently, most Chinese and Japanese manufacturers use shellfish obtained by crossing both species.
Over the past hundred years, Japan has been the undisputed champion in cultivating pearl akoy. Growing in Japan pearls around the world were considered an example of elegance and excellent quality. It is worth noting that the technique of growing pearls appeared just one century ago thanks to the successful experiments of the British scientist William Savile-Kent and the Japanese Kokichi Mikimoto , who used the same technology that has survived to this day.
In the period from 1990 to 2007, Japan gradually began to lose its leading position, as Chinese pearls appeared on the market in almost the same volume in which they were produced by the Japanese. In the October issue of the International Pearling Journal for 2006 and the JCK * report, it was noted that most of the cultured pearls in China were exported to Japan, where it was later labeled as Japanese Akoya.
2008 and 2009 were the hardest period for China's pearl industry. In the province where Akoya pearls were grown, several natural disasters, one after another, virtually destroyed all production. In 2008, there was a severe earthquake in Sichuan province , in August 2009 the typhoon Morakotcame from the Philippines , washing away the whole city in Taiwan and causing huge damage to the Zhejiang province. At present, China is only a barely visible player in the pearl market, while Japan has again become a leader.
Main features of Akoya Pearls:
Clams for cultivating pearls of acoy, regardless of where they were grown - in China, Japan or Australia, have common characteristics. They produce pearls of smaller size than those grown in Pinctada margaritafera (molluscum) or Pinctada maxima (molluscum). Grown pearls have a diameter of 2 to 11 millimeters, and most often - from 6 to 8 millimeters. In the event that pearls have the same characteristics, the larger the size, the higher their cost.
A large percentage of akooy pearls is used to create classic white pearl threads, with a difference in the size of the pearls is only 0.5 mm. For example, a pearl thread can consist of pearls measuring 6.5-7 millimeters or 7-7.5 millimeters. In the event that the size of the pearls in the filament is declared as 7.5 millimeters (always indicating a large value), this means that the diameter, in fact, can vary from 7 to 7.5 millimeters .
Introduction of a seed nucleus to the mollusk Akoya:
The pearl is cultivated by nuclear means, and the process of growing a pearl takes no more than two years. In comparison with sea pearls of other species, mother of pearl covers akoya core with a thinner layer . In the warm season, mother of pearl grows faster and gives thicker layers, and in the cold months, metabolic processes in the shell slow down, and new layers of mother of pearl turn out to be more subtle. Than the layers are thinner, and their number is larger, the stronger the shine of the pearl . A short period of time after the coldest months is considered the best time for harvesting, as it is at this time that the pearls have a strong, bright and deep shine.
Factors affecting the value of Akoya Pearls:
The value of the pearl thread akoy influenced by 6 main factors. When the individual pearl or pearl thread has the highest values for all six criteria (the size of the pearl is not taken into account), it is called " hanadama ", or "the highest category". However, considering that there are no two absolutely identical pearls, a certain range of quality exists even within the category of "hanadama". The very term "hanadama" is mainly used by the Japanese.
As a rule, the pearls of Akoya have a size of 2-11 millimeters, while the most common - 6-8 millimeters. If other indicators are identical, the cost is higher for those whose size is larger.
Most pearls are round, but the oval and baroque pearls of unusual colors often enter the market. As a rule, even spherical pearls have the greatest value.
Natural colors of pearls Akoya
Most often, the akoaya pearl has a white color with a light silvery or pink tinge. I must say that these colors are rarely natural, as all the pearls of akoya are subjected to a variety of treatments , including, for example, "maesori" (the primary procedure is to enhance the shine), bleaching (giving an even white color to the entire surface of the pearl), and then organic staining for enhance the pinkish hue.
The natural colors of the acoya pearls are white, silver, silver-blue, yellow and beige, with secondary tones of pink, silvery or green.
The akoi pearl is primarily appreciated for its magnificent mirror shine, which is the main factor in the classification and evaluation. A filament with a shining sheen, while having some flaws on the surface, is valued higher than the analogous one with less gloss, even if its surface is absolutely clean. There are five main levels of shine of pearls (similar to a mirror - it should be visible to surrounding objects):
Excellent - the reflectivity is high, the gloss is bright.
Very good - bright shine, slightly inferior to the brilliance of pearls of the highest category.
Good - high reflectivity, but surrounding objects in reflection can be disassembled with difficulty.
Satisfactory - the reflection is weak, the surrounding objects are blurred.
Bad - almost no reflection, surrounding objects are not guessed.
Speaking of the surface, it means its smoothness and the absence of any defects. Since pearls are rare, without any flaws, samples having an even surface and a minimum of visible inclusions are of the highest category. Defects on the surface of the pearl - is not only visible rushes and dents, but also hardly noticeable color patches, unequal shine on different parts of the surface or disruption of the integrity of the pearlescent layer .
The quality of mother of pearl is divided into three categories:
Acceptable - the core of the pearl is completely hidden, the surface does not have matte chalk-white areas.
Visible core - when rotating different sides of the pearl shine noticeably differently, one more, one less.
Matt - the surface is openly matte-white, like chalk.
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