When the soft inner body of an oyster is exposed to a foreign object, like a grain of sand, the oyster secretes a substance called nacre. Over time, it encases the irritant in a silky crystalline coating. The result: a pearl. Harvested for centuries, pearls continue to be coveted objects in the making of fine jewellery.
Akoya are the smallest pearl-producing oysters in the world, growing lustrous white, cream, and pink pearls in the warm, shallow waters of Japan. Kokichi Mikimoto, founder of Mikimoto, was the first person to successfully develop a technique for pearl cultivation in 1893, and cultured Akoya pearls feature prominently in the brand’s collections. Mikimoto’s elegant Sunburst Earrings feature two eight-millimetre cultured pearls, a popular size for the Akoya, encircled by diamonds totalling 0.72 carats and set in 18-karat white gold. The design is traditional and timeless, a little sunshine for a chilly winter evening.