When the average person thinks of branded pearls, they think of Mikimoto Pearls. Ever since 1916, Mikimoto has been the talk of the pearl world, and rightfully so. Mikimoto Kokichi was the first one to mass-produce cultured pearls. By 1935, there were nearly 350 pearl farms in Japan, producing 10 million cultured pearl per year. He then turned his mission global, and moved his market into Europe and the United States. Mikimoto was one of the first Japanese brands to receive international recognition after World War II. Ever since then, they have been at the top of the Pearl world, not only in recognition, but in quality as well. However, this has taken a drastic turn lately, due to the economic recession in the US and worldwide.
Due to the current economic recession that has plagued the global economy for the last few years, Mikimoto has had to lower their standards in order to keep up with its competitors. For example, before the economic downturn, Mikimoto only carried higher end Akoya pearls. They now carry low-end akoya pearls and even freshwater pearls, which are considered to be a lower quality pearl type than Akoya pearls. These moves were all done in order to counter the economic situation. The biggest change they have made is that they created a line of pearls called “blue Lagoon” that carries their lower quality pearl jewelry products.
The big question that are customers have is, how do these pearls compare to the ones that you can buy from Laguna Pearl? If you were to compare that to our basic AA+ quality pearls, Laguna Pearl’s benchmark for quality is higher than the Blue Lagoon line that can be found at chain retailers like Zales and Kays. The quality is much better than the products you will find from Mikimoto’s Blue Lagoon line. However, when you are talking about their higher-end Akoya pearls, which are usually showcased in Mikimoto flagship stores, those are most likened to our Hanadama quality. The Hanadama pearls from Laguna Pearl will match their highest quality Akoya Pearls they offer.
There is one important thing to take note of. When it comes to pearls, they all come from the same places and are created from the same pearl farms. This means that the pearls you buy at Laguna Pearl come from the same place that Mikimoto buys their pearls from. Mikimoto doesn’t create their own type of pearls, they simply import their pearls from Japan just as Laguna Pearl does. At the end of the day, customers love to shop at Laguna Pearl because they get equally impressive products for a fraction of the price! Please call and speak to one of our phone representatives if you have any questions.