Akoya (saltwater) pearls versus freshwater pearls
1) As you may have noticed, freshwater pearl jewelry is less expensive. And you know that Akoya pearl is more expensive …
Some reasons for this difference, one of the freshwater pearls is easier to cultivate. Freshwater pearls are easier to grow because the nucleation process is different and easier.
The amount of nucleation per mollusk is much higher in the freshwater pearl mussel (at a time of 40 to 50), the maximum that an Akoya can produce could be 4 or 5 and they do not do it as often because the quality decreases and mortality increases.
Freshwater mussels can be pre-nuclear with less mortality than once for akoyas. There is more control over the environment, ponds, and streams than ocean water, which has to deal with typhoons and red tides.
2) Of course, Akoya pearls are mostly round in shape.
And it goes without saying that freshwater pearls are rarely round in shape. The Akoya is nucleated with a round bead made from a freshwater mussel shell that is made round, to begin with.
The freshwater mussel is nucleated with a piece of soft tissue, usually just one flat piece, or many flat pieces.
3) The freshwater pearl earring is made of solid mother-of-pearl.
Here’s something you might not know … an Akoya pearl necklace has a core of beads made of shell and only a layer of mother-of-pearl, as thin as 1mm.
See above, the soft tissue that the freshwater mussel is nucleated with is absorbed leaving a solid nacre pearl, more like natural pearls.
The Akoya is nucleated with a shell bead of a certain size and is only allowed to develop a mother of pearl for a limited time before harvest. The time period is limited only by the grower’s wish for faster harvests.
4) A benefit of thicker mother-of-pearl means a freshwater pearl necklace will last longer.
Truth be told, low-quality Akoya pearl necklaces with a thin layer of mother-of-pearl often chip or wear out.
As you can imagine, a freshwater pearl with a solid mother of pearl has nothing to shed; while an Akoya pearl is possibly only a layer of only 1mm, so it can be worn or chipped easily.
5) The best grades of Akoya pearl jewelry have a higher luster compared to freshwater jewelry pearls.
A freshwater pearl bracelet may have “orient”, a rainbow iridescence seen on heirloom or natural pearls, while an Akoya pearl bracelet does not.
The nacre or nacre of the Akoya has a greater shine or radiance. The freshwater pearl may have a trait called “orient,” which is a sheen of a rainbow of colors, like the way oil looks in the water.
Orient is seen in natural saltwater pearls and freshwater pearls; but not in Akoya cultured pearls.
So it adds to this: things are changing. From Keshi pearls called crisp rice because that’s what they look like, to gem-quality pearls. Freshwater jewelry pearls now rival Akoya jewelry pearls in beauty.
Freshwater pearl jewelry is changing rapidly. A freshwater pearl necklace will last longer and will be the heirloom of tomorrow. Freshwater pearls are gaining in quality and popularity.
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Akoya Pearls or Saltwater Pearls?
Akoya’s name means saltwater in the Japanese language and for decades pearl industry has been extensively selling these most lustrous pearls to consumers and even now it commands a very decent share when it comes to selling and buying pearls jewelry among pearl jewelers and consumers.
Akoya pearls are the classic cultured pearls of Japan. Akoya pearl luster is intense, their nacre is thick, and colors brilliant. Undoubtedly, they carry higher values than freshwater pearls.
Although Japan is the originator of producing Akoya pearl, so to say, as Kokochi Mikimoto of Japan had invented and patented the bead-nucleating technology of culturally growing these pearl in the seawater.
Akoya pearls are primarily cultivated in the sea salt waters of the coastal areas of Japan and China but in recent years China is producing in large quantity and their quality is exceeding remarkably.
With new improved modern techniques of culturing pearls, it has become possible to harvest better quality Akoya pearls.
It takes about 3-5 years to grow nice quality Akoya pearls and pearl farms in China and Japan constantly monitor its growth during this period in order to get a good harvest as well as good quality Akoya pearls.
Very small mantle tissue beads are implanted inside the Pinctada fucata martensii oysters to form beautiful Akoya pearls.
Akoya oyster rarely produces more than two pearls whereas freshwater oysters are nucleated to produce about fifty pearls each.
Akoya pearl normally take a long time to grow and the total quantity comparatively is not very large due to variable seawater climatic conditions and oysters’ mortality.
Akoya pearls come in natural white and cream colors with natural overtones. Akoya Pearl Necklace is made with Akoya pearls, which are known for their brilliant luster and nearly perfectly round shapes.
Akoya pearl necklace is designed and hand-knotted with very selective lustrous pearls. It takes about 40-50 pearls to make a standard pearl necklace of princess length style, which is widely worn around by all women.
Akoya pearl necklace is the preferred choice for many women and adorned all over the world. Akoya pearls are very alluring and make excellent luxurious gifts.
Akoya Pearl Necklace – Akoya Pearl Jewelry
Akoya Pearl necklace is best known for its high luster and color brilliance. Akoya Pearl is commonly known as cultured saltwater pearls. Akoya pearl is the classic cultured pearls of Japan.
In the early nineteenth century, a Japanese man named Kokichi Mikimoto introduced to this world his bead-nucleating technique of culturing pearls in seawater – oyster’s naturally occurring process of forming the pearl with human help thereby stimulating the process by producing the initial irritant or nucleus.
Akoya oysters are small mollusks, so the pearls they produce range from sizes 3mm to 9mm. The oyster secretes nacre to cover the bead with layer upon layer of nacre.
The thicker the nacre better is the quality. Akoya pearls are produced by the Pinctada fucata oyster type.
In recent years China has come up with equally high-quality Akoya pearl. Every harvesting season, pearl farms growing Akoya pearl often find small to medium size pearls of varying quality and it takes a lot of effort to choose the best quality pearls.
The pearls are hand sorted, processed, and strung into hanks. Akoya pearl necklace made with quality pearls typically command higher values than freshwater pearl jewelry but comparatively cheaper than Tahitian and south seawater pearls.
With the new improved technologies and constant monitoring of pearl growth in pearl oysters, freshwater pearls often come in good quality and are available in a wide array of colors and sizes but Akoya pearl still typically command a higher value.
There is a great demand for Akoya pearl both in U.S and foreign markets. All Akoya pearl is cultured pearls.
Higher grades quality Akoya pearl that are known for their brilliant luster and nearly perfectly round shapes make the perfect Akoya pearl necklace.
Each pearl is hand-knotted and strung together to make a beautiful Akoya pearl necklace. Akoya pearl necklace is the preferred choice for many women and adorned all over the world.
Although Akoya pearl does come in cream, pink, rose overtones, etc, yet white color is the standard classic color when it comes to buying Akoya pearl necklace.
It is always good to buy an Akoya pearl necklace with matching Akoya pearl earrings and or bracelets. Akoya pearl is indeed very alluring and makes excellent luxurious gifts.
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