Akoya Pearl

saf-ahyuh r
June Birthstone

Akoya pearls tend to be the most consistently round and near-round pearls, which makes them perfect for matching for multi-pearl jewelry. Akoyas are saltwater pearls prized for their roundness, luster and color. They tend to be small, ranging from two to 11 millimeters, as the akoya oyster is the smallest producing oyster, and are considered the "classic" pearl, with their generally white to cream color, with rose or silver overtones.

Akoya Pearl Polished
Akoya Pearl Classification
Common Name Akoya Pearl
Species Pearl
Akoya Pearl Optical Properties
Transparency Translucent - Opaque
Refractive Index 1.530-1.685
Birefringence 0.155
Optic Character NA
Optic Sign NA
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG)
Fluorescence SWUV: Variable
LWUV: Variable
Pleochroism None
Akoya Pearl Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 2.5-4
Specific Gravity 2.720-2.780
Toughness Good
Inclusions Akoya pearls have an intense luster and iridescent surface. If the pearl is drilled you can inspect the hole to look for bead nucleus.
Luster Dull, Metallic
Stability Poor
Fracture Uneven
Cleavage None
Akoya Pearl Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name calcium carbonate + conchiolin and water
Chemical Formula CaCO3
Crystal System NA
Chemistry Classification Organic

Akoya Pearl Colors

  • Black Akoya Pearl Black
  • Yellow Akoya Pearl Yellow
  • Pink Akoya Pearl Pink
  • Gray Akoya Pearl Gray
  • Brown Akoya Pearl Brown
  • Blue Akoya Pearl Blue

Alternate Names

Akoya-Gai

Countries of Origin

Unknown; China; Japan; French Polynesia; Indonesia

History

Envision the shimmering beauty of moonlight across calm waters... the gentle movement and delicate dance of light. Capture that vision in an elegant orb, and you have the akoya pearl. What you're seeing in your mind's eye is the luster that makes these glorious stones so compelling. Soft blushes of white-to-cream color whisper across the surface of a fine akoya, with subtle nuances of rose or silver. The real story of the akoya is found in her incomparable beauty. She is the pearl that sets the standard for most pearls. The pearl is known as "the Queen of Gems."

Care

Pearls require special handling. Wipe clean with a soft cloth. Follow the last-on, first-off rule: they should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. Always avoid contact with oils and fragrances.

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More About Akoya Pearl

As one of the earliest known gemstones and one of the loveliest, the pearl has been the center of endless tales and legends. Here are some we enjoy: In ancient Persia it was thought that pearls were formed when a rainbow met the earth after a storm. Imperfections? They were caused by thunder and lightning! Another version tells us that pearls are created when moonbeams unite with oysters. We find it easy to believe that the lovely pearl is a child of the moon. Folklore has it that Cleopatra told Mark Anthony she could drink a fortune in a single cup. As the story goes, she crushed a pearl, mixed it with wine/vinegar and drank it.

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Tim Matthews

Author

Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.