The First Attempts
Many ancient authors claimed that man could reproduce Pearl artificially. But all the attempts concluded without a result.
The Chinese undertaken numerous attempts to participate in the process of Pearl origin. But their specimens were of inferior quality compared to the natural ones. As a result, these Pearls were of small size and thus have no commercial value. The Germans also attempted to produce Pearls. They even exhibited some lucky patterns in 1880. But these specimens were of bad quality as well.
Six years later, American and European newspapers came out with the headlines that French scientist Dr. Louis Boutan made a discovery. He managed to produce Pearls in the abalone shell. But the Western World was sad to learn that Japanese researcher Mr. Mikimoto made this discovery prior Louis Boutan. Moreover, he managed to unfold Pearl trading occupying the entire Asian market.
Japanese Cultured Pearls or Mikimoto Pearls
Mr. Mikimoto dreamt to cultivate Pearls. In 1890 he exhibited his first results at the 3d National Exhibition in Tokyo. Dr. Mitsukury, a professor at the Imperial University of Misaki, has supported the research and suggested to Mr. Mikimoto an idea to cultivate oysters, that capable to produce Pearls in the environment created by human.
Afterward, Mr. Mikimoto undertakes the first attempts at his Pearl farm in Shima province. It's worth noting that nobody believes in the success of this idea even his friends. However, Mr. Mikimoto together with his colleague Dr. Mitsukury made numerous attempts to produce Pearls in the human-made environment. In 1896, Mikimoto found his first Pearl fishery enterprise capable of producing cultivated Pearls for commercial purposes.
Of course, Mikimoto has officially registered a patent for his invention. Later on, this industry flooded the market with millions of cultured Pearls annually.
Quality of Japanese Cultured Pearls
Being a product of Mikimoto Pearl farms, Japanese cultured Pearls are of perfect quality, even in comparison with the natural pearls. The high quality of Mikimoto cultured Pearls is due to using the oysters, supplied from the coasts of the Bay of Ago. These oysters are similar to the best Indian species obtained in Sri Lanka.
The Method of Producing
The small stones and pieces of rock place in the most inhabited spots of pearl-oysters, principally in July and August. The oysters attach to them. Later, the staff of Mikimoto farm replaces them deeper before the cold season. Otherwise, they could die due to the climate change.
The oysters remain here during three years. After that period, the staff gets them out of the water. Later, they place a small pearl inside the shell that serves as a nucleus. Afterward, the oysters plunge deep into the sea for four more years. Within this period, the oyster covers the core placed inside it by many layers of nacre. As a result, we obtain almost ideal Pearl comparable to the natural one.