Akoya pearl is a type of highest quality sea water pearl that originates from Japan.
Akoya oysters, from the waters of Japan, live in shoals and in water depths of 1 – 5 metres. These calm seas have few large waves and mild temperatures of 15 to 23 degrees Celsius. These perfect oceanic climates attribute to the production of pearls with brilliant lustre and rich colours – the qualities the Akoya pearl has become renowned for. Akoya colours range from white, cream and pink to silver pink.
The Akoya oyster is the smallest pearl-producing oyster in the world. Akoya pearls are often available in the market in sizes of 3 – 10mm, but sizes of 9-10mm are of low production. An average akoya pearl is only 7 mm. Unlike fresh water pearl oysters, a sea water pearl oyster can produce only one pearl, as a result, sea water pearl has 5 times higher price compared with fresh water pearl at similar quality.
Pearls are soft and delicate, but when cared for with common sense, they will maintain their luster for centuries. The pearls should not come in contact with cosmetics, hairspray, perfume, chlorinated water, or other harsh chemicals. To keep them clean, let them be the last item put on when dressing, and the first item taken off at the end of an evening. Pearls should be stored in a cloth pouch or jewelry bag, separated from other jewelry to prevent nicks or chipping. Periodically, pearl strands should be restrung since the silk thread used to tie the pearls together breaks down over time.