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Akoya studs
Akoya studs

Akoya studs


Akoya studs, seawater white and pink color, 5.7-5.9mm pair, K18 gold fittings, not gold plate, not gold filled, made in Japan.「F」

1 in stock

These Akoya pearl stud earrings are one of the first items I sourced independently since starting my own business in April 2024. The supplier is someone I’ve been working with since my time in the pearl industry. When I told him I was leaving my job and returning the pearls I had borrowed, he reassured me, saying, “It’s okay. We are friends. Keep the pearls and find your customers.”

Kobe, Japan, is known as the “City of Pearls.” This reputation began in 1922 when a pearl company employee, Yasuie Toudou, invented a pearl bleaching technique. Since his company was located in Kobe, pearl companies from all over Japan gathered here. Before his invention, there was no way to completely remove blemishes from harvested pearls. His bleaching technique allowed pearls to retain their natural luster and color while removing blemishes. Today, over 80% of commercially available pearls are bleached. Natural blue pearls, however, are not bleached.

Another reason for Kobe’s reputation is its port, which was a major trading hub. Pearls processed in Kobe were exported worldwide from Kobe Port. Post-war, Akoya pearls were a key industry for Japan. Only five companies in Japan were permitted by the GHQ to export pearls, and the company I previously worked for was one of them. At the time, it was as prestigious to work for a pearl company as it was for a major bank.

Nowadays, not many Kobe residents are aware of its history as the “City of Pearls.” While there are over 150 pearl companies in Kobe, most are wholesalers or processors, so the general public remains unaware. The fashionable Kitano district, a tourist area, is home to many of these companies. You might not notice, but pearl industry professionals are a common sight in Kitano.

Returning to my story, I mentioned borrowing pearls from a trusted supplier. The pearl industry has a unique custom where pearls are freely lent and borrowed. If a customer wants an 8mm pearl necklace and I don’t have it in stock, I can borrow it from another pearl company for free. If the necklace sells, I pay the supplier; if not, I return it. This practice likely stems from the close-knit, hereditary nature of the pearl industry. Many pearl company owners know each other well, fostering trust and cooperation.

As an outsider with no family ties in the pearl industry, I often felt like a stray dog. Yet, even I was trusted with borrowed pearls. One such borrowed item was an 8mm natural blue baroque necklace, valued at $1,315 wholesale. Despite its quality, it was too expensive for my wholesale buyers, and I didn’t purchase it either. If I were to sell it in my shop, it would be priced over $5,000, reflecting the high current market value of Akoya pearls.

The earrings I’m selling were not borrowed; I purchased them entirely because of their beauty. The making of these pearl earrings is documented on YouTube. From a lot of 250 pearls, I carefully selected pairs to create these earrings. The “F” pair, which I selected, is the one currently for sale.

These earrings, sourced and crafted by me, hold personal significance. They give an impression of understated elegance, like a poised beauty who smiles quietly even when others are laughing loudly. With thick nacre and inner strength, they represent the qualities I aspire to.

Thank you for your interest!

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