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Born in 1858 in Toba City, Japan, Mikimoto was the eldest son of a family who ran a noodle restaurant. When he was 29 he began raising oysters and by 1895 he was awarded a patent for his process of culturing Pearls.
For 30 years he worked day and night developing new techniques for culturing Pearls and was admired in the jewellery industry for his relentless efforts to get his technique widely recognised and accepted.
On the 11th of July 1893, Mikimoto and his wife reportedly cultivated five Akoya Pearls; the first ever cultivated Pearls on the planet. “I would like to adorn the necks of all the women of the world with Pearls,” said Mikimoto. However, it took him a further twelve years to perfect the technique and to create exquisite, spherical Pearls.
The winner of numerous awards and accolades, Mikimoto died in 1954 at the age of 96; in his honour, there is a huge statue erected on Pearl Island in Japan.
GIA qualified Gemmologists
Members of the British Jewellery Association
Members of the Coloured Gemstone Assocation