The History of Mikimoto Jewellery
The Mikimoto story begins in 1893, when the Japanese brand’s founder, Kokichi Mikimoto, successfully created the world’s first cultured pearl. Since this time, Mikimoto’s beautiful designs have adorned the necks of all women around the world, and thus, fulfilling the founder’s dream.
Once his method for culturing pearls had been perfected, Kokichi sent a team of craftsmen to Europe, where they studied the latest design techniques and styles in jewellery, including Art Deco and Art Nouveau. Upon their return to Japan, Kokichi combined these European methods with his own to curate the distinctive Mikimoto style we see today.
Throughout the brand’s history, which has now spanned over a century, the beautiful designs have been seen everywhere from red carpets and T.V. screens, where they have been supported by the likes of Marylin Monroe and Angelina Jolie, to dinner tables and offices, on the necks of everyday women who adore a touch of elegance.
The talking point of any Mikimoto piece is its pearl detail. The brand birthed the cultured pearl which is seen more commonly in today’s jewellery designs. Before Kokichi Mikimoto’s innovation, natural pearls were incredibly rare and only accessible to the super wealthy.
While cultured pearls are not entirely natural, they are very much real. They are created in controlled settings, where farmers use cruelty-free methods and surgical style instruments to harvest a pearl in an oyster.
However, historically, it has been a common misconception that cultured pearls should not be classed as real pearls. The famous ‘Paris Trial’ that took place in 1921 was a key turning point in dismissing the false allegations. Mikimoto eventually won the legal battle, putting all claims of fraudulent labelling to bed, and gaining worldwide recognition for the brand.
Although pearls are formed in man-made circumstances, it is impossible to ensure the quality of each individual pearl, as the environment in which it is cultured is still natural. Like diamonds and other gemstones, pearls are graded on a scale from A - D, with A representing a higher quality.
The quality of a pearl is determined depending on its lustre, surface quality, size and shape. In order to ensure its jewellery retains its prestigious reputation, Mikimoto strive to use only the top 5% of cultured pearls, Therefore, all Mikimoto pearls carry one of the following subgrades - AAA, AA, A+, A, with AAA being the highest quality pearl.
Mikimoto culture a number of different types of pearls, all of which have their own unique characteristics. These pearl types include akoya, black south sea, white south sea and golden south sea.
Best Selling Jewellery in the Collection
The world class Mikimoto collection available today includes classic pearl pieces as well as stylish diamond paired designs. While the brand began by creating unique necklace designs, the current collection also includes pearl and diamond detail earrings, bracelets and rings.
Mikimoto necklaces are by far the most popular and most recognisable pieces from the renowned jewellery house. Designs include long strand pearl necklaces, short choker styles and beautiful pearl pendants.
Mikimoto earrings are also diverse in style, making them ideal for all types of occasions. For instance the simple pearl studs available in various pearl grades and sizes make for the perfect piece to add a touch of elegance to any outfit, while the dangly diamond detailed options are suitable for more formal events.
Here at Wallace Allan, we stock a wide variety of pieces from the renowned Japanese brand. Some of our favourites include:
Discover the full range of Mikimoto online at Wallace Allan today.