Leeds & Son
73-670 El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA 92260
Monday - Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
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THE LEGEND OF THE PEARL KING
A precious pearl born from the sea: nature's own secret and one man's dream. That man was Mikimoto's founder, Kokichi Mikimoto. His lifelong dream was to perfect the art of cultivating exquisite pearls to adorn women everywhere.
After many years of effort, he succeeded in 1893, thus beginning an industry. "I would like to adorn the necks of all the women of the world with pearls," Kokichi Mikimoto said shortly after his success. The elegant beauty of Kokichi's pearls was eventually recognized throughout the world and his wish was fulfilled ad Mikimoto because a global brand. Today, almost all pearls on the market are cultured pearls, cultivated by the method developed by Kokichi Mikomoto.
THE MIKIMOTO COMMITMENT
As the Originator of Cultured Pearls since 1893, Mikimoto is dedicated to presenting only the world's finest cultured pearls. Thus does the legacy of Kokichi Mikimoto live on in our exceptional jewelry.
Out of every one hundred pearls, only three to five will meet the Mikimoto standard of excellence, distinguishing Mikimoto pearls from all others. The Mikimoto name is synonymous with superior quality at every stage, from the selection of the finest materials to the design and workmanship of the finished piece of jewelry. Mikimoto's dedication to this ideal of beauty allow us to offer the very best in quality and service.
Pearls are formed naturally when a foreign object, such as a shell fragment or grain of sand, lodges inside an oyster. If the oyster cannot expel the irritant, its natural defense is to surround the object with layers of protective coating, nacre, thus forming a pearl.
The process of cultivating pearls mimics nature's own Oysters are gathered from the sea and implanted with a specially selected irritant, or nucleus. It is only this process of nucleation that distinguishes a cultured pearl from a natural pearl. After the nucleus is inserted, the oysters are returned to the sea where nature takes over.
MIKIMOTO STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE
Each pearl is as different and individual as a fingerprint, making it essential to follow quality grading standards. As the Originator of Cultured Pearls, Mikimoto has maintained the highest standards of quality and consistency by devoting more than a century to understanding the sea and researching the oyster. Mikimoto developed a proprietary grading system, unique within the cultured pearl industry, which accurately and consistently grades its pearls based on luster, surface perfection, color, shape and size. There are four Mikimoto grades: A, A+, AA and AAA, with AAA being the highest quality. A mere three to five pearls out of every one hundred harvested are deemed worthy to bear the Mikimoto name.
HOW TO JUDGE A PEARL'S QUALITY
LUSTER- The surface glow, as well as the deep mirror-like reflection of the light, or "inner light" of a pearl, is known as luster. Nacre quality in cultured pearls will improve the overall luster. Many even layers of nacre are required to create a highly defined spectrum of color. All Mikimoto pearls radiate with an exceptional luster.
SURFACE PERFECTION- The tiny marks found on the surface of a pearl are part of its natural texture, and, like the rarest silk, part of its intrinsic nature. Generally, the less blemished the pearl the higher its quality and value.
COLOR- There is a wide spectrum of colors that can be found in pearls, including cream, silver, pink, gold, green, blue and black. The most popular colors are white and pink rose because these hues flatter the widest range of skin tones. Regardless of color preference pearl color should be rich and even, emanating from deep within the pearl.
SHAPE- Of the many shapes available, perfectly round pearls are truly the rarest and most valuable. Exotic shapes such as teardrop, oval button and baroque are also available and are used to create unique, exotic jewelry designs.
SIZE-Pearls are measured in diameter increments of millimeters (mm). Larger pearls are more difficult to cultivate as there is a increased likelihood the oyster will reject the larger implanted nucleus. The Akoya pearl ranges from 3.5mm to 10mm in size. South Sea pearls start at 8mm.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR PEARLS
With proper care, Mikimoto cultured pearls will last for generations. Organic in nature, cultured pearls should be kept away from chemicals, perspiration, cosmetic and perfumes which may damage their appearance. In order to protect your pearls from harm, they should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.
To keep your Mikimoto pearls at their most lustrous, we recommend that you gently wipe of any oils and fingerprints with a soft cloth after each wearing. By keeping you pearls in the original puch or box you can protect them from getting scratched by other gemstones or jewelry. Pearls should not be stored in a security box for long periods of time as this may cause them to dehydrate. We recommend you take pearls out of such boxes frequently. Mikimoto pearls are strung with a fine silk thread that is knotted between each pearl. Even if you do not wear your pearls often, we suggest that you restring them annually as the silk may become soiled and weakened.
Over time, pearls do change in appearance. However, if you follow our recommendations, you should enjoy your Mikimoto pearls for many years to come.
-information reprinted from MIKIMOTO.