Originating in Japan in the 1800s, Mikimoto pearls have enjoyed worldwide success. Oyster researcher Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in culturing round pearls at a time when oysters in Japan were becoming over-harvested in his hometown of Ise-Shima. Because of Mikimoto's dedication to perfecting the pearl, people today continue to enjoy his efforts. You can find these pearls in numerous jewelry stores; however, it is important to be able to identify these pearls to ensure you are getting the authentic Mikimoto product.
Visit a Mikimoto store location. Stores are located in Las Vegas, New York, Costa Mesa and Beverly Hills. If you do not live near a store, you can contact jewelry stores in your region and ask if they carry Mikimoto brand pearls.
Ask the retailer about the origin of the pearl. Mikimoto carries various types of pearls that come from different regions of the world. Akoya pearls come from Japan, and Black South Sea Cultured Pearl come from either Tahiti or Okinawa. South Sea Cultured Pearl come from Indonesia, Australia and the Philippines. Freshwater Cultured Pearl come from the rivers of China. Conch Pearls are from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
Look at the clasp of the necklace, bracelet or earrings for the Mikimoto trademark (the letter M).
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Inquire about the grade of the Mikimoto pearl. Because there are four Mikimoto grades, if the pearls in question do not fall under one of them you know they are not real Mikimoto pearls. Find out if they are AAA, AA, +A or A.
Research the five physical characteristics of a pearl. Luster, shape, color, surface perfection and size will affect the quality and the price of the pearls.
Rub the pearl over the surface of your tooth to feel if it is real. Real pearls feel gritty and fake pearls feel smooth.