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Akoya necklace
Akoya necklace

Akoya necklace

$298.07

Akoya necklace, 6.0-6.6mm seawater pearls, white-pink toned pearl, not natural color, 48cm, silver 925 clip-type clasp, baroque from Japan.

1 in stock

This is a vivid pink Akoya necklace. While the pearls typically sold at Flower Jem are of natural colors, this necklace features toned pearls.

Here is the video of how this necklace is made. It will help you to check the quality of the pearls.

There are five classifications for pearl color processing: “Natural,” “No toned,” “Toned,” “Dyed,” and “Cobalt.”

“Natural Color Pearl” processed pearls undergo a treatment called “pre-treatment,” where about 1% of proteins and other substances within the harvested pearl layer are removed. It’s worth noting that 99% of the pearl layer is composed of calcium. Over 90% (almost all) of pearls in circulation undergo this processing. Blue-colored pearls undergo only this “pre-treatment,” resulting in slightly enhanced colors and an overall more refined appearance.

“No Toned” pearls undergo “bleaching” after “pre-treatment.” Many harvested pearls tend to have a slightly yellowish hue, which is whitened through bleaching. In Japan, there’s a classification on appraisal certificates called “Mu-choshoku,” meaning “not adjusted in color,” which is highly regarded. It’s akin to describing someone as a natural beauty without makeup. The proportion of pearls in circulation classified as “No Toned” is less than 30%. Some pearl dealers classify pearls that haven’t undergone toning as “Natural,” but strictly speaking, “No Toned” does not fall under the “Natural” category.

“Toned” pearls undergo a slight dyeing process to unify their colors. Even after bleaching, each pearl’s color varies slightly, so applying a tinting process to each pearl makes the necklace appear more uniform and aesthetically pleasing. Most pearl dealers distinguish between “Toned” and “Dyed,” but processing experts consider them essentially the same. “Toning” is a process in which the dye penetrates into the pearl’s surface over a period of several weeks to several months. The image is like soaking pearls in a bottle of dye. In Japanese, “Toned” is referred to as “adjusting the color,” not “dyeing.” This process is the same for both “Toned” and “Dyed,” but the difference between the two is the degree to which the dye penetrates into the pearl. This is a delicate issue. In fact, the processor also told me. “The pearl industry also uses clever expressions.The logic is the same in both cases, but they use the exquisite expression “Toned.” While it’s a subtle nuance, the difference is significant. Many pearl enthusiasts resist dyeing but feel reassured when told the pearls have been “color-adjusted” rather than dyed. Salespersons often describe this as “a light touch of makeup.” Over 80% of pearls in the market undergo this “Toned” process, and it’s safe to assume that most pearl necklaces fall into this category. The presence or absence of “Toned” processing doesn’t affect the quality of pearls.

“Dyed” pearls are those that undergo thorough dyeing. They are immersed in dye for several weeks to months.

“Cobalt” – Even dyed pearls, some pearls still have blemishes from when they were harvested. These blemishes, which can range from light blue to navy or even near-black, are often disguised through dyeing. The purpose of this processing is to make it easier to sell as many pearls as possible. In cases where blemishes remain conspicuous even after dyeing, radiation is used. This process is conducted under strict governmental supervision to reduce blemishes. Pearls subjected to radiation transform into shades of blue depending on the level of radiation exposure. This occurs because the spherical nucleus made by the pearl oyster turns black due to radiation, giving the pearl a blue hue when viewed through the pearl layer. The primary cause of blemishes in pearls during cultivation is typically the influence of the pearl oyster’s eggs. Pearls can be formed by inserting a round nucleus into the pearl oyster. It’s preferable for the oyster to expel its eggs before nucleus insertion. If the oyster still has eggs, efforts are made to induce it to expel them within two weeks. Alternatively, if the oyster doesn’t have eggs, measures are taken to prevent it from producing eggs until the nucleus is inserted. Pearl cultivators consider factors such as weather and business plans and attempt various methods to ensure the oyster remains egg-free for two to three weeks before nucleus insertion. Nevertheless, blemishes often occur in harvested pearls. These blemishes are treated through bleaching, dyeing, or radiation. Concerns about health risks from radiation-treated pearls are common. In short, the radiation exposure from such pearls is lower than that from radium hot springs. Generally, there’s no need for concern.

Also, there is almost no way to distinguish between “Natural Blue” and “Cobalt” pearls. I have also been almost deceived in the past. There are bidding sessions among pearl dealers, and once I found a very cheap, extremely cheap “Natural Blue” necklace there. It was a baroque shape, but it was offered at about 20% cheaper than the usual price for a very deep, beautiful blue necklace. I thought, “This necklace is amazing!” However, I was concerned about the low price, so in the end, I didn’t bid on it.

After that, I started to see such cheap and beautiful blue “Natural” necklaces at the bidding sessions. One day, I had the opportunity to ask the president of the company that was auctioning those necklaces about it.

In conclusion, those necklaces were Cobalt, not Natural. However, they were labeled as “Natural.” According to the president, “If the radiation level is below a certain threshold, pearl appraisal institutions will not detect radiation. So these can be labeled as ‘Natural’.” Furthermore, the president reported the use of radiation to the appraisal institutions, and he says he is not deceiving anyone. He called it a corporate effort and said with a smile.

I was surprised to hear that. However, since he was straightforward, it might not be a bad thing. And I also felt that I didn’t want to deal with such necklaces myself.

Based on this, there is basically no way to distinguish between Natural and Cobalt. If there is, it’s just a feeling of suspicion when you find a cheap and beautiful blue necklace. I have seen many freshly harvested pearls. Even with very beautiful blue pearls, there are often slight color variations somewhere. Since pearls are created by living creatures called Akoya oysters, this is natural. There may be perfectly beautiful blue pearls, but if they exist, they would be incredibly expensive. If they are relatively affordable, it would be suspicious pearls. The pearl farming industry is small, and the processing industry is also small. Therefore, there is not much price difference between dealers. In that sense, quality and price are proportional, so there should be no big mistakes.

However, for the average consumer looking for pearls, it is impossible to find the difference between Natural and Cobalt. There are so many retailers around the world that sell pearls. Many of them sell pearls with added value to each. Therefore, even if the prices of pearls are approximately the same among pearl wholesalers, there is a large difference in retail price. I think most of their added value is justifiable. However, it is also true that there are some companies that add unreasonable value. Finding a reliable store is important, not only for pearls but for any purchase. And there’s usually a reason why something is too cheap.

Even the president of a company that owns a pearl farming facility has been deceived.
He once bought a large quantity of Natural Blue necklaces and wholesaled them to a Chinese vendor.
Later, the Chinese vendor complained to him.
“When I cut the necklace, the thread was blue. This is not Natural, it’s dyed! It’s fraud!” he said.
He apologized, saying he didn’t know either, and later dealt with the complaint properly.
Even so-called professionals can be deceived.
He also said to me with a bitter face, “I bought necklaces from an unfamiliar vendor, and it was a mistake.”

Now, the preamble has been lengthy!
This product is a necklace made of “Toned” pearls.
The shape is baroque. The surface is slightly cloudy and not smooth. However, it has a strong gloss.
I purchased this necklace from a retired businessman who used to work for the company I work for. He is over 80 years old.
By chance, I found out that he had these pearls.
The reason I purchased this necklace from him was because of the purchase price.
Currently, as of March 2024, the market price of Akoya pearls is soaring. (Strictly speaking, at the jewelry show held in Hong Kong in late February to early March 2024, the popularity of Akoya pearls has plummeted unlike before)
However, the price of this necklace handled by him does not match this soaring market price and is priced based on the market price from a few years ago.
In other words, from today’s market perspective, the price of this necklace is about half. Certainly, it is a necklace with small pearls, not of high quality, but it is relatively affordable.

The old man said, “I won’t raise the price recklessly just because the market has gone up.”
While many pearl companies take advantage of even the low-priced pearls when the market is low, he does not raise the price.
I was deeply moved by his attitude.

The color is strong pink, and I also made the thread pink.
I think it has become a very cute necklace.

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