Types of Pearls

Pearls are divided into categories based on the species of mollusks from which they are produced. These categories include Akoya, silver / gold lip, black lip,freshwater and conch pearls.


1. Akoya pearls

Cultured from Akoya oysters living in Japanese coastal waters, these pearls are characterized by delicate hue and luster. They come in colors including pink, silver and cream. The most popular sizes are 5-7mm in diameter, and sizes over 8mm are highly prized. 

2. Silver / gold lip pearls

These pearls come from silver / gold lip oysters cultured in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Most of the pearls are large, with sizes of over 10mm. In addition to round,they are found in various shapes such as teardrop. As well as white, a brilliant golden color is also favored.

3. Black lip pearls

Pearls harvested from black lip oysters having a color range from gray to black. Pearls having good luster and a greenish tinge known as "peacock green" are rare and valuable. These pearls are cultured in Tahiti.



4. Freshwater pearls

Cultured in lakes and rivers in China. These pearls come mainly from "Triangle" mussels. They are found in a wide range of shapes including round, oval, drop, button, baroque and stick.

5. Conch pearls

These are natural pink pearls harvested from snails known as "Queen Conch", inhabiting in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Conch pearls are characterized by a unique beautiful "flame structure" pattern resembling burning flame.

*Under its rigorous quality control standards, MIKIMOTO offers pearls of many different kinds.