Akoya pearls start life when a technician implants a spherical resin or mother of pearl nucleus into the pearl bearing oyster alongside an epithelial cell graft that has come from the mantle tissue of a donor oyster. The graft forms a pearl sac around the resin or mother of pearl implant within which layers of nacre are secreted to cover the nucleus. Akoya pearl bearing oysters must be three years old before they are able to host a pearl successfully and their life expectancy is only seven years.
Akoya pearls are generally found in all shades of white from very pure white through pale pink to golden tones.
South Sea Pearls are mainly 9-16mm in diameter, the nucleus is a mother of pearl bead and the nacre can start from 1mm and is usually 2.5mm thick. South Sea pearls are produced in White lipped, that inhabit the waters of Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines and Indonesia. The Shell hosts can be as large as 12 inches across and produce pearls whose nacre is coloured according to the mother of pearl coloration of its hosts shell, so white and silver lipped oysters birth pearls that are mainly white in colour with a range of overtones from silver to pale pink.
Always choose the pearls with the deepest lustre within the budget set, if necessary compromising on size and surface perfection, as it is the lustre which will light up the wearer’s face and will therefore be most flattering. All the pearls we use in Coleman Douglas Pearls jewellery are individually chosen for their lustre.
Akoya pearls usually have a good 0.5mm nacre coating. The thicker the nacre is, the longer the pearls will last, and usually the better their lustre will be.