Cultured akoya pearl is the classic white pearl with a mirror-like luster and perfectly round shape that is familiar to many jewelry customers. In fact, cultured akoya pearl is known to possess the highest luster (a measure of light reflecting off the pearl’s surface) of all pearl types. While white is the most common color, it also comes in a lovely array of neutral colors, such as rose, cream, yellow and blue to gray. Cultured akoya pearl colors and luster allow it to pair nicely with other pearl types and gemstone jewelry. Japan and China are the major sources of saltwater akoya cultured pearl. Akoya sizes range from 3 mm to 10 mm in diameter, with 5 mm to 8 mm the most popular. On average, it takes 6 months to 2 years for an akoya pearl to be grown.
The single most important phrase to remember when caring for pearl jewelry (actually, any jewelry) is: “Last on – first off”. This means you should put your jewelry on last, after you’ve applied all your make-up, perfumes and other sprays. At the end of the evening, your jewelry should be first off, that is, the first item removed before taking off clothing, washing yourself, etc. To learn more about cultured pearl, or any of our gemstones, visit our education and resources page.