Kokichi Mikimoto, the man credited with inventing cultured pearls, once memorably described pearls as "a living jewel" and it was his dream to see pearls adorning the necks of women around the world.
The triple-layer necklace has an adjustable clasp that allows it to be reconstituted as two rows of pearls or a single row.
His legacy is the firm which bears his surname. Mikimoto has been a leading producer of fine cultured pearls and jewellery since 1893 and today the Japanese brand is known for contemporary designs that express fashion trends while continuing to champion the timeless elegance of pearls.
The firm's chic yet classic designs along with quality craftsmanship make for luxurious jewellery, with new collections coming out every season. For autumn/winter 2012, Mikimoto has unveiled three series of designs featuring a variety of cultured pearls.
Its Olive Cluster necklace and earrings set pays homage to the natural beauty of the olive tree, whose leafy branches are emblematic of abundance, peace and glory. Representing the fruits of the tree, clusters of Akoya cultured pearls nestled in intricate, 18k yellow-gold leaves and diamonds form an olive motif.
Believing that Akoya oysters produce the best pearls, the firm's founder was the first to experiment with inserting a particle of foreign matter into the flesh of an oyster. The irritation this causes stimulates the oyster to secrete a substance called nacre, which builds up forming hundreds of thousands of layers to finally create a lustrous pearl.
Over the years, Mikimoto incorporated other kinds of cultured pearls, coloured stones and other material into the crafting of exquisite jewellery.
The firm's latest pearl pendant and ring set boasts a grouping of white Akoya cultured pearls juxtaposed with larger white South Sea or black South Sea cultured pearls to create a simple yet appealing contrast.
Golden South Sea cultured pearls gleam in another series featuring pearls of several colours. The gold hue shines out between white Akoya and black South Sea cultured pearls in a drop pendant, which can be matched with drop earrings made from white South Sea, black South Sea or golden South Sea cultured pearls set in 18k white gold with diamonds. This series also includes a 16-inch triple-layer necklace made from golden, white and black South Sea cultured pearls. It has an 18k white-gold clasp that allows the wearer to adjust the number of rows of pearls, from one to three.
The autumn-winter 2012 collection is now available at the Mikimoto boutique, M floor, Siam Paragon. Call 02-129-4444/5.
Pearl pendant and ring with an appealing combination of Akoya and white South Sea cultured pearls.
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- Writer: Noko