Akoya Ride: Why the Classic Pearl Is on the Cusp of a Renaissance

When akoya pearl sales shot up 40 percent in 2015—and then another 10 percent this year—Daven Sethi, vice president of New York City–based Tara Pearls, knew the classic white pearl was on the brink of a new crest of popularity. “The majors have been doing superb with akoya,” Sethi says. White akoyas have been a jewelry-box staple ever since the Japanese inventor and cultured-pearl pioneer Kokichi Mikimoto perfected the culturing process around the turn of the 20th century. World War II veterans returning home to America began snapping up akoyas for their sweethearts, while celebrities and fashion darlings such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Coco Chanel also helped catapult the pearls to must-have status.  But over the years, new and top-quality varieties of Chinese freshwater cultured pearls began to draw the attention of designers. The classic akoyas—literally your grandmoth

This content is exclusive to JCK Pro subscribers. Subscribe now to access this and much more with discount code GOPRO21 for $199 for an entire year of access (reg. $249).


Already a JCK Pro? Log in

A JCK Pro subscription is your all-access pass to people and resources on the
cutting edge of the retail jewelry industry, from the industry authority you
know and trust

Learn about the Perks of JCK Pro

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out