Mikimoto Pearls

James Wojcik

A new collection pays homage to the invention of the cultured pearl.

It was Mikimoto founder Kokichi Mikimoto’s famous wish to adorn the necks of all women with pearls. And while a strand of white pearls might be universally chic, the 114-year-old company is looking beyond it with a new collection, a nod to the 120 years since Kokichi invented the first cultured pearl. The 12 pieces highlight different varieties, from large South Seas pearls to irregularly shaped baroque strands, but our favorite is a gradient strand of 78 beads that incorporates all three South Seas types and took more than five years to match size and color. White Australian pearls blend into Japan-sourced black pearls, which transition to Indonesian, Australian and Philippine goldens, the rarest of the South Seas variety. Mikimoto Gradient South Sea Cultured Pearl necklace, price upon request; mikimotoamerica.com.