A Brief History of Pearls: Luster of Akoya Pearls

  A brief history of pearls


Akoya pearls have the highest luster of all cultured pearls, according to many experts, and it's usually thought to be the result of their nacre coating.

What Creates Luster on Akoya Pearls?

Akoya pearls are cultured in the cool waters off Japan. The sea there is typically at least 10 to 15 degrees cooler than it is in other locations where cultured saltwater pearls are developed.

Because the cooler conditions slow down the nacre excretion process, and because lower temperatures produce nacre with a more compact crystal structure, Akoya pearls have superior reflective and refractive qualities. This typically gives them a higher luster than other pearls have.

Although Akoya pearls usually have a thinner nacre coating than other pearls have (it's about a half-millimeter thick in most cases), their luster often shines the brightest.

In order to be considered a flawless or nearly flawless pearl, an Akoya must have an extremely high luster with no visible inclusions on its surface.

How pearls form in oysters
How pearls are harvested
How pearls brought to market
Know your Akoya pearls
Akoya Pearl Cultivation
Akoya Pearl Harvesting
Akoya Pearl Processing
Akoya Pearl Evaluation
Quality Factor One: Luster
Luster of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Two: Surface
Surface of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Three: Shape
Shape of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Four: Color
Color of Akoya Pearls
Quality Factor Five: Size
Size of Akoya Pearls
Know your South Sea pearls
South Sea Pearl Cultivation
South Sea Pearl Harvesting
South Sea Pearl Processing
South Sea Pearl Quality Evaluation
Luster of South Sea Pearls
Surface of South Sea Pearls
Shape of South Sea Pearls
Color of South Sea Pearls
Size of South Sea Pearls
Know your Tahitian pearls
Tahitian Pearl Cultivation
Tahitian Pearl Harvesting
Tahitian Pearl Processing
Tahitian Pearl Quality Evaluation
Luster of Tahitian Pearls
Surface of Tahitian Pearls
Shape of Tahitian Pearls
Color of Tahitian Pearls
Size of Tahitian Pearls
Gift Giving Occasions

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