Through the ages, things of beauty have always had the ability to mesmerize.
And for centuries, the pearl, the mysterious crystal from the natural world, has been highly valued as jewelry.
Real research into pearl farming in Japan began at the start of the 20th century.
The history of TASAKI starts during the period of free trading after the war in order to contribute to the development of the pearl industry – an industry struggling to keep up with export demand.
TASAKI established its own research facility and spent night and day researching the pearl.
Then in 1970, TASAKI succeeded in becoming the first in the world to farm the brown-lipped pearl oyster.
This treasure of the ocean, very near extinction, was greeted by the world with surprise and accolades as the new symbol of the beauty of Japan.
Pearls are a living organism. Well, that is how we think of them at TASAKI. Pearls possess perfect shape and form without the need for polishing or cutting. TASAKI has worked to create an optimum environment for the production of this magical gemstone, one that can be created by oyster and man.
TASAKI handles each and every step of the production process from farming of the pearls in the nutrient-rich waters off Japan, selection and crafting by skilled craftsmen and sales to ensure that you receive only the finest quality TASAKI pearls.
The nature and craftsmanship of Japan. This is the key behind the quality of TASAKI pearls.
6 criteria used to determine the value of pearls
Since our foundation, TASAKI has employed stringent standards for the selection of pearls used in its jewelry range based on the 6 key criteria used to determine pearl quality.
Nacre quality: Nacre quality refers to the thickness of the nacre layer and is the most important factor in determining pearl quality. It is not possible to achieve beautiful interference color or luster without a nacre layer of a certain thickness.
Nacre quality, luster and color are closely related and in general a thicker nacre layer will produce a superior quality pearl in terms of luster and color. TASAKI pearls are all selected based on the nacre layer, the most important factor in determining pearl quality.
The brilliance of a pearl (the quality of light reflected from within the pearl itself) is referred to as luster.
|Surface brilliance||:||Light reflected from the surface of the pearl [gloss]
Example: When the surface of a pearl is eroded by sweat etc. and the gloss is diminished, it can be restored to a certain point by polishing
|Internal brilliance||:||Light reflected from the internal layers of the pearl. Light interference that occurs in pearls. This changes depending on the thickness of the nacre layer, conformity and optical transparency.|
|Luster = Internal brilliance = light interference
* These forms of brilliance coexist to produce pearl luster.
Although the color of pearls is largely determined by color interference, the color and luster share a reciprocal relationship in creating their characteristic color. These two factors have a complex effect on the pearl and play a large role in determining pearl quality.
Pearls are generally round gems and perfectly rounds pearls are superior in quality. However, pearls come in various shapes and there are also extremely unique and beautiful gems found in the tear drop or semi-round category.
Naturally a pearl with fewer blemishes will carry a higher value. The degree of blemishes occurring in pearls is broad, and can range from very small dimples to bumps and surface spots. TASAKI uses a grading system to select individual pearls based on their suitability for different jewelry lines.
Pearl size is measured in diameters and size is not directly related to nacre quality. Pearls are traded in terms of weight and because there is more demand for larger gems, when all other quality factors are the same, the larger gem will generally demand a higher price.
Akoya pearls, known in Japan as Japanese pearls, have been loved for centuries. These pearls are symbolic of Japan and are recognized around the world. Japan is a major producer of the Akoya pearl mollusk, which forms the mother shell and live in calm inner bay waters with a water temperature ranging between 15-25℃. They are known for their stunning and elegant luster created by the delicate colors of the multilayered nacre and come in colors ranging from silver, gold, cream, pink, green and blue etc. Their shape is generally round and come in a standard size of 6-8mm.
Mabe pearls are voluminous semi-spherical pearls ranging in sizes from 10-20mm. The TASAKI Mabe pearls are known around the world for their colorful and vivid, rainbow-like hues. The population of Mabe pearl oysters, which form the mother shell, was dwindling and up until TASAKI succeeded in developing breeding techniques and started farming the oyster in 1970, the Mabe pearl was known as the ‘phantom pearl’ for its extraordinary rare beauty and scarcity. Mabe pearls differ from normal pearls in that a semi-circular nucleus is inserted flush against the side of the mollusk, causing the oyster to form its nacre deposits over the nucleus and against the side of the shell, forming a semi-spherical pearl.
Quality Mabe pearls have a uniquely beautiful nacre quality and a strong, penetrating luster. In addition to the rainbow-like colors, blue and brownish colors are also popular and various shapes can be achieved, including tear drops and hearts, by altering the shape of the nucleus. The characteristic flat bottom of the pearls create a snug fit, especially when set into larger designs.
South Sea Pearls
South Sea pearl mollusks are the largest among all pearl oysters, growing up to 20-30cm in size and are restricted to warm tropical waters, such as those off the coast of Australia. A lot of South Sea pearls grow larger than 10mm in diameter and approximately 90% of all white pearls are produced in Australia and Indonesia. They have a thick nacre layer and are popular for their bright, opulent colors, including silver, white, pink and gold etc.
Tahitian pearl oysters are found in a wide number of areas in waters ranging from sub-tropical to warm water with main production areas including Micronesia, Polynesia, and Tahiti in particular. The deep coloration of Tahitian pearls, including black, green, blue and brown hues etc. and a variety of shapes, such as tear drops and baroque give them a unique charm. In particular, peacock green Tahitian pearls, colored with a stunning black-green hue like a peacock’s tail, are highly sought after for their dark and mysterious luster and rare nature.
Today, nearly all of the freshwater mussels used to produce freshwater pearls are farmed in China. Freshwater pearls have a good nacre layer and can be found in a large variety of shapes, including oval, tear drop, button and round etc. Sizes range from 2-10mm and they come in a range of different colors. Freshwater pearls have gained in popularity as they are relatively reasonably priced and can be used in a variety of jewelry designs.
The term ‘baroque’ comes from slang, barroco, used by Portuguese pearl merchants to describe an irregular shaped pearl. The term today is used to describe groups of pearls that fall outside the normal spherical pearl shape and can include tear drop, egg, button and all other irregular shapes, excluding semi-round. Baroque is not a type of pearl, but rather refers to the shape, therefore baroque pearls can be found in all other pearl varieties, including Akoya pearls, and there are a lot of creative and innovative pieces of jewelry that harness the unique characteristics of baroque pearls. The term ‘Baroque Style’ describing a style of art emphasizing elaborate ornamentation, which came about following the Renaissance period is derived from baroque pearls.