Cultivated Pearls

Koichi Mikimoto became the first person in the world to produce a cultured pearl in 1893 after long years of experiments that were ridden with public skepticism. It was not until 1905 when he finally succeeded in producing a perfectly round pearl that propelled him to international fame and impressed huge figures including Thomas Edison and the Meiji Emperor. Nonetheless, credit goes to the traditional female divers as well because pearl cultivation would be impossible if they had not dived and planted a pearl nucleus into the Akoya oysters. Despite his success, Mikimoto continued to work hard and sell them worldwide so that pearls could be worn by more women throughout the world and not for the privileged few.