It is the Akoya pearl from Japan that is the original cultured pearl. Your mother or grandmother was given them as a wedding gift, Coco Chanel wore them all the time. Grace Kelly’s iconic choker of pearls are Akoya. The main producers today are Japan and China, For Japan however, over crowded farm lots, water quality and disease has seen a steady decline in production.
The oyster is commonly seeded with 2 or 3 nuclei. The grow out period is between 10 and 18 months. Nacre thickness is an issue due to animal health mainly in Japan. Over half the oysters will die with only 5% producing high quality gems. The oyster is not re-seeded. Good quality Akoya strands are still very expensive.
Known to have a “shiny” lustre and a good round to near round shape due to a thin coating of nacre.