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Buying Pearls in Japan: A Natural Treasure Hunt

Published On: 
August 2, 2023

When one mentions Japan, an array of vivid images comes to mind: cherry blossoms, Samurai warriors, sushi, anime, and bullet trains, to name just a few. But did you know that tbuying pearls in japan is one of the most popular activities? That's right! Japan, particularly the region of Mie Prefecture, is world-renowned for its cultivation of the highest quality pearls. In this post we will embark on a journey of buying pearls in Japan, a truly unique experience that every jewelry aficionado or curious traveler should consider.

A Peek into the History of Cultured Pearls

The history of pearl culturing in Japan is as captivating as the gems themselves. Kokichi Mikimoto, the son of a humble noodle shop owner, is one of the most credited for revolutionizing the world of pearls. In the late 19th century, he developed a technique to cultivate pearls. He wasn't alone in this, he had a team helping him achieve the vision.

Mikimoto was the one who marketed the pearls in the best way - which in days became the brand "Mikimoto". These efforts gave birth to the beautiful Akoya pearls that we know today. Mikimoto's home, the town of Toba in Mie Prefecture, has a museum in which one can learn more about the history for those who want to learn more about it.

Understanding Pearls

Before stepping foot in the world of Japanese pearls, it's important to understand some key points. Japanese Akoya pearls are widely known for their round shape, brilliant luster, and delicate hues ranging from rose, pink, to silvery white.

Also, remember to look out for our 5 'S's – Size, Surface, Shine, Shade and Shape. Larger pearls take a longer time to form and hence are rarer, and thus more expensive. A smooth surface with fewer imperfections indicates a higher quality pearl. Shine, or luster, refers to how much light the pearl reflects; the more it shines, the better quality it is.

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Akoya pearls are usually round, however it could also be off-round or baroque. Shade refers to the overtones, while the pearl's base color is white, it may have different overtones such as white-silver-pink or Rosè. These create a pearlescent effect. You can read about understanding pearls in details in this guide

The Pearl-Buying Adventure

While you can find Akoya pearls all over Japan, it makes sense to get the pearls directly from the source. The brands do not have their own farms any longer. Instead they get their pearls from farms and even from wholesalers such as pearls.jp.

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If you would like to save the brand markup, without compromising on quality, we would recommend a visit to our showroom in Tokyo. It has a range of pearls rarely seen, it truly is a hidden gem where we can match any skin tone and any budget.

Our company has been exporting pearls worldwide since 1969 to the leading brands and companies worldwide - which means that our inventory is vast as it has to serve all markets. If you are looking to the closest experience to the source visit us in Roppongi, Tokyo.

Tips for Buying Pearls in Japan

  • Do Your Research: Knowledge is your best ally. Familiarize yourself with the different types of pearls, quality indicators, and price ranges.
  • Shop Around: Don't rush into buying the first pearl you see. Visit different shops, compare prices and designs.
  • Ask Questions: Don't hesitate to ask for more information about the pearl's origin, quality, and grading. Reputable sellers will be happy to provide the information you need.

Pearls as Gifts

Pearls make an ideal gift, symbolizing purity, integrity, and wisdom. They are also a great souvenier from Japan. Some even believe pearls to offer protection and attract good luck. Whether you're buying for a loved one or as a treat for yourself, a Japanese pearl is a timeless, elegant piece that carries with it a unique story and cultural heritage.

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In conclusion, the adventure of buying pearls in Japan is one filled with history, beauty, and intrigue. Armed with knowledge and an open mind, you're all set to uncover your perfect pearl. The experience not only offers you a tangible gem to take home but also unforgettable memories of engaging with a centuries-old tradition in the heart of Japan.

So, next time you find yourself in this incredible country, be sure to add a pearl treasure hunt to your itinerary.

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