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Richly encrusted with myth and legend, radiant with intrigue and romance, the pearl necklace is a universal icon like no other. One man did the impossible - he found a way to cultivate pearls.

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"Kokichi Mikimoto, the son of a noodle-and-vegetable seller, grew up in the small coastal fishing town of Toba, on Honshu Island, near one of Japan's richest pearl-fishing sites, Ago Bay. Here as the young Mikimoto saw at first hand, the huge and rapidly escalating, demand for pearls in the West was having an effect on the local industry, depleting the oyster beds and sending more and more divers, known as "ama", (all women, by custom) down to the ocean's depths to search for the treasures. The knew of the high pre ices paid for pearls and was concerned for the future of his pearl-fishing community. It became Mikimoto's dream to replicate the natural process through which a pearl is formed, when the ouster, as a defines mechanism, coats a foreign object such as a grain of sand, with layers of iridescent nacre. Mikimoto saw a way to give nature a helping hand by artificially inserting a nucleus into the fleshy part of the oyster in its shell to stimulate the production of nacre and thereby, he hoped, cultivate a perfect pearl."

It became Mikimoto's dream to replicate the natural process through which a pearl is formed

"Richly encrusted with myth and legend and radiant with intrigue and romance, the pearl necklace is a universal icon like no other that has threaded its way not only through the history of jewelry but the evolution of fashion as well. Renaissance queens, maharajas, Hollywood starlets and modern influencers have all made the pearl necklace part of their wardrobes, each wearing it after their own fancy. A symbol of feminine purity, a sign of status and power, an emblem of tradition, a quintessential heirloom, and opportunity for reinvention, the pearl necklace has adapted, chameleon-like, across centuries to become an expression of changing ideals of womanhood and of a woman's place in the world."

 

In the newly launched coffee table book "The Pearl Necklace", co-published by Japanese pearl giant Mikimoto and Assouline Publishing we follow not only young Japanese Mikimotos long struggle to successfully cultivating the first pearls, but the beautiful brick of a book also tells the history of pearls and their importance in the world as status symbols, and is filled by gorgeous images of men and women wearing everything from the most simple to the most intricate designs. The book also features quotes from Hollywood starlets, royalty and other famous people from today and yesteryear. This is a book to have on your coffee table and not only to lay there as decoration, but to pick up again and again - as it will always dazzle you, as well as put a smile on your face and insert a little luxury into your life. Below we publish some of our favourite images and quotes from the book, courtesy of Mikimoto and Assouline Publishing. The above quoted passages come straight from the new book "The Pearl Necklace", published jointly by Mikimoto and Assouline Publishing, courtesy both. Text by Vivienne Becker.

Get your own copy here

Mikimoto 1

From Life Magazine, in 1949!

Mikimoto 2

Just beautiful

Mikimoto 3

The queen of class

Mikimoto 7

Beautifully said

Mikimoto 6

So true. Always on point, Ms. Chanel

Mikimoto 5

Three totally different people. All wearing pearls.

 

Our own Facebook wrap photo of the week is of one of the quotes from the book, seen at the launch of "The Pearl Necklace" at Armani/Aqua in Hong Kong last week. It is an image of Lady Gaga accompanied with the quote:

Why wait for a lover to buy you jewelry, lover yourself

Indeed, why wait? Lover yourself!

 

Mikimoto 8

 

 

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