You must have heard the name Mikimoto either at a cocktail party or when you visit a fine jewelry store. Many rich women often proudly display their Mikimoto jewelry.
What is so special about Mikimoto, you must have wondered and why the best quality of cultured pearls is compared with Mikimoto pearls?
Since 1893, about 41 years after the company called Shreve & Company was founded in San Francisco, one Japanese called Kokichi Mikimoto started his company.
Mikimoto had a dream to adorn the neck of every woman all over the world with jewelry containing pearls. He was an entrepreneur since he was 11 years old when his father was ill.
He took a keen interest in the export of natural pearls that were in high demand. As they were harvested and caused near extinction of oysters, Mikimoto found an alternative way to cultivate pearls through an artificial method which was later known as Mikimoto pearls.
Mikimoto was a perfectionist, and he did lots of research to learn that Akoya oysters can produce the finest variety of pearls. He then explored methods by introducing particles inside Akoya oysters and was able to create lustrous and perfectly round gems.
After a number of failed experiments, Mikimoto along with his wife created the first pearl for his company in 1893.
Mikimoto got his first patent in 1896 for cultured pearls. He then established his thriving business on Ojime Island, which is now more commonly called as Pearl Island. Mikimoto continued advancing the science of the creation of pearl and also created new landmarks and conquered many new challenges e.g. the South-Sea pearl cultivation.
As one of the leading inventors of cultured pearls, this Japanese inventor of artificial pearl embodied the reputation of Japan for quality goods. He also helped to build one of the country’s biggest global trades in Pearls.
After his death when he was 96 years old, Mikimoto was awarded the “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure”. Even today, his brand of pearl and his vision still live on in the superb quality and elegant designs of his company.