Kokichi Mikimoto's cultured pearl is the result of decades of painstaking experimentation and research from the Akoya pearl oyster. Previously, pearls were made by the oyster's defense against natural irritants (a shell fragment, a parasite), releasing layer upon layer of silky "nacre" to wrap the object, hardening to a crystalline shimmer. He has taken this pearl process a step further, introducing a foreign object in the pearl oyster to provoke the process. Now man - and Mother Nature - can create the pearl gem. He has created the pearl oyster farm. From this, the seed of the Akoya cultured pearl, and an entire industry is sown. Akoya pearls are now an essential element in any woman's wardrobe; from the elegant single strand to the power-dressing double pearl and the aristocratic triple pearl strand. As well as glorious gift ideas, the following section shows how to build your own Akoya pearl necklace and the grading system for these classic pearls.