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Cracking The Code: Japanese Akoya Pearls’ Quality, Grading, And Care

It rained all day yesterday, so it seems that the cherry blossoms have fallen quite a bit. It’s a pity, but the leaves on the mountains will become more and more green from now on. It’s fun.

I had two fun dinners this week. First of all, on Thursday, I went to eat with a delivery person who goes to and from the company where I work. There are more than 100 pearl companies around the company where I work. Listening to him, who is a delivery company, I was able to understand how many pearl certificates are traded on a regular basis. Among them, I was able to hear many interesting stories, such as a pearl shop that works even on Saturdays and Sundays, and a pearl company that works until late at night. But more than that, the courier guy is a lot of fun and I’m glad I got to know him.

The next day, Friday, I went out to eat with someone who retired from the company I work for about four years ago. I go out to dinner with him about twice a year. We are close in age to each other and are now separate companies. Still, it’s one of the pleasures to be able to meet and talk from time to time. When I spend all my time with people who are in a similar environment, I feel like my thoughts are becoming rigid. I want to keep my head flexible and keep an open attitude.

Whenever I go out to eat with him, it’s his local restaurant. The owner of that restaurant is from my alma mater high school. He is four years older than me, so of course I didn’t know him when I was in school. When I was a university student, I went to the restaurant where he worked for four days as a part-time job, and I found out that he was a senior in the same high school. I also learned that he was my cousin and classmate. A colleague of mine used to go to his restaurant like that. It’s a small world.

The photos above are of two specific necklaces taken in different environments. A slight difference in the environment can make the pearls look quite different.

And today is my father’s birthday, so I came back to my parents’ house. Basically my father is almost unresponsive to the family like a stone statue. Old-fashioned stubborn old man. I gave him a small present, but his jaw moved only a few millimeters. I imagine that my father would be a little happy in his heart.

And recently, I’ve been interacting with a customer about a necklace. The necklace she bought from me before was returned because it was a strong pink color. And then her request came from her again. Recently, I was finally able to find the whitish necklace she wanted, so I asked her to examine it through her photos. It should be the necklace she imagines when she orders it and receives it. It is very important to make the gap between the photo and the real thing as small as possible.

Another customer also gave me great advice on pearl photography. There are many criteria for photographing pearls. Personally, I want to take care of the mother-of-pearl, so I like to shoot in dimly lit places with little light. However, such photos are not suitable for shopping site photos. If it’s a picture of a shopping site, it’s bright and the background is pure white, and a picture like Amazon is preferred. However, when photographing pearls in bright light, the mother-of-pearl appears thin, the wounds are hidden, and the color of the pearl appears different than it actually is.

I’ve been shooting aiming for the middle of these. However, this time a customer gave me the opportunity to improve my photography. More than anything else, I find great value in receiving advice from customers. For example, even if you run a sushi restaurant, if the sushi isn’t good, most customers won’t say, “Owner! The sushi here isn’t good.” Many people just go home and never go to that sushi restaurant again. I think it’s valuable to get opinions from that perspective.

I think I will be able to post the re-photographed product by the end of this month. The update speed is very slow, but I would like to improve it little by little and make it a good shop.

It’s 10 o’clock at night and it’s so dark around my parents’ house. There are almost no city lights.


I am part of a Japanese company with an Akoya pearl farm. Apart from the company, I personally run an Akoya pearl shop. I would appreciate it if I could share smiles with various people through pearls.

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    • LSetsy
    • 2023.04.09 2:18am

    “…but his jaw moved only a few millimeters” — LOL!

    That $30 for 2 people dish looks like it’s worth several times of that price! Unbelievable.

    • Jem

      It may feel cheap due to the weak yen^^。Still, it’s a bargain for us, and it’s a hearty dish. After this, we ordered two more servings.