When you think of pearl jewellery, what springs to mind? Chances are it's a shimmering, snow-white single-strand pearl necklace. You're perhaps reminded of a relative's dazzling heirloom necklace that always captivated you as a child. It's highly likely that necklace was made up of Akoya pearls.
Akoya pearls are generally spherical white pearls with a mirror-like lustre, though they can also be found in other tones, with dyed black and grey Akoyas not uncommon. Akoya pearls tend to be known for having the most brilliant shine (lustre) as compared with other types of pearl from different Molluscs. The Akoya pearl was the original cultured pearl produced by the Pinctada Fucata Martensi oyster in Japan in the early twentieth century, which to due it’s quite small size only grows one pearl at a time to a maximum of around 10mm in diameter. Akoya pearls are the classic white pearls immortalised by Jackie Onassis, Coco Chanel, and Audrey Hepburn and more recently styled by Michele Obama and Jennifer Aniston. They never date and they never go out of style.