“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

The 120th spring of Mikimoto

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The founder of the Mikimoto brand, Kokichi Mikimoto, was born in an era in Japan’s history when it was secluded form the rest of the world. During the Edo period Japan conducted commercial activity with very few countries, and the population lived in extreme isolation. Mikimoto attempted to establish connections with other countries and cultures with the aid of a famous local product the Ise pearls. He recognized that the market for natural pearls was becoming scarce, yet their price is extremely high thus he established his own protected oyster beds and grew pearls. Soon after opening his first boutique in Ginza, a Japanese shopping district that is popular to this day, the whole world came to know the Mikimoto cultured pearls.

Many years filled with wonderful pearl collections have passed since. On the occasion of the brand’s 120th anniversary, Mikimoto introduced the “Mikimoto Pearl Crown – Flower of Dream” – “DREAMS & PEARLS” earlier in the year in Tokyo to celebrate its global market leader success in culturing pearls. In addition, Mikimoto saved some extraordinary and unique masterpieces for this year’s Baselworld too.

The shape of the 8-strand Akoya pearl Mobius necklace is reminiscent of the Mobius Strip; and it is adorned with Sakura diamond motifs. The Sakura (Japanese Cherry Blossom) is also a recurring motif of the traditional Japanese kimonos that are worn in spring. The bare neck of a woman is symbolic in Japanese culture; the shape of the necklace is also reminiscent of the kimono necklines.

As I found out, the Baroque shaped pearls are increasingly sought-after and popular; a stunning example of these is the Spiral necklace. The necklace designed by Kimi Shinagawa consists of two strands of white South Sea Baroque pearls in diverse shapes which can also be worn separately. White-gold spirals encrusted with diamonds embrace the pearls on the shorter strand. The set is complemented with earrings also made of Baroque pearls.

The Milky Way necklace consists of 7 strands of Akoya and South Sea pearls. White-gold star motifs set with diamonds frame a sizable South Sea pearl. The same motifs reappear on the earrings which complement the necklace.

Bejewelling the female body in an unusual way is popular in many cultures. Starting from the left shoulder, the Pearl Streams wraps around the waist and hip, thus emphasising the feminine figure. The white pearl strands are held together by a wonderful diamond clasp that can be worn separately as a brooch too.

On the occasion of the brand’s 120th anniversary, fans could purchase strands consisting of 120 pearls, naturally in anniversary gift wrapping. In addition to the various pearl strands in shades of white, necklaces in champagne and gold tones were also featured at the brand’s booth. The necklace consisting of Golden Akoya pearl strands with 18-Carat yellow gold and diamond feather clasp and a gold South Sea drop pearl is a truly magnificent piece.

The pieces in the “Pearls in Motion” collection are wearable creative pieces. The pearls sit on an elegant, thin white-gold chain, and their place can be changed to the wearer’s liking with a unique mechanism developed by Mikimoto.

The founder wished for his pearls to adorn the necks of women all over the world. 120 years after the establishment of Mikimoto, there is great interest from Japan to the Middle East all the way to Europe in exceptional quality pearl jewels. The fact that on the second day of BASELWORLD most of the showcased jewellery had already sold, speaks volumes about Mikimoto’s unending success.


Photo credits: Mikimoto, Loupiosity.com.
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