It is said that western high jewelleries are often designed dynamically, with characteristics in the rich techniques. In contrast, the high jewelleries from Japan tend to have a design with delicate sense of aesthetics, using elaborate technique. Premium Japan will introduce the carefully selected Japanese high jewellery brands, that are praised as both art and craft work, and purifies one’s heart with its shine and sparkle.
The jewellery brand Mikimoto, often appears in online jewellery column articles and auctions in both domestic and international market. The brand is closely associated with their pearls. Their founder, Kokichi Mikimoto have not only invented the first cultured pearls in 1893, but also contributed to develop the Japanese pearl industry and earn foreign economic currency during the postwar periods.
For the ones who are unfamiliar with pearls, we will briefly explain the difference between natural and cultured pearls. Once, there was a time when only natural pearls existed. The formation of natural pearl begins when a piece of outer epithelial gets trapped inside the oyster’s gonad by chance. After the piece gets trapped inside the gonad, the secretion of the nacre starts and creates layers of nacre. These formed layers are pearls. In the case of cultured pearls, this process is done by human interference. Both natural and cultured pearls are made from the same material.
A large Morganite is set on the center of the pearl necklace, with lacework-like decorations using pearls.
Necklace. 18K White Gold, Akoya Pearl, Morganite, Spinel, Sapphire, Tanzanite, Diamond. 60,000,000 Yen (Without Tax)
A swan brooch using natural freshwater pearls called “Feather Pearls”. The diamond represents the sunlight reflection from the lake water surface.
Brooch. 18K White Gold, 18K Yellow Gold, Natural Freshwater Pearl, Onyx, Diamond 4,100,000 Yen (Without Tax)
In 1924, “The Pearl Trial” was held at Paris. After Mikimoto’s pearls started to appear throughout Europe, jewellery shops handling natural pearls took the appearance of the cultured pearls as a risk. This lead to a lawsuit claiming that cultured pearls were fake pearls. The cultured pearls were later proved at court that there was no fundamental difference from natural pearls using academic books. The age was when Art Deco was in style, it was popular to match pearl necklace with the geometric straight line fashions. As a result, Mikimoto pearls drew attention to many, and led to open their Paris boutique in 1928. While in Japan, “Moga” (Moden Girl) fashion which was influenced by the western culture had appeared, but the mainstream of fashion were still Kimonos. It was still a time when pearls and diamonds weren’t known by the Japanese.
A brooch portraying a romantic flower arch full of blue lavenders.
18K White Gold, Natural Freshwater Pearl, Sapphire, Tourmaline, Garnet, Alexandrite, Diamond. 35,000,000 Yen (Without Tax)
The innovative and unique approach of Kokichi Mikimoto, has been carried on to the present jewellers and business of Mikimoto. After their announcement at Paris in July of 2019, “Mikimoto High Jewellery Collection 2019 Jardin Mystérieux” was announced at the Hotel Okura Tokyo, which recently had their grand opening in September. By using digital technology in designing the space, the venue is displayed with mysterious and dramatic garden and lake that invites visitors to the world of Mikimoto Collections. The marvellous world with blooming flowers, magnificent creatures and intricate ironworks are all created from their jewellery making techniques. From actually experiencing Mikimoto’s world of beauty with my own eyes, I thought to myself, that the Japanese High Jewelleries could be reaching the world of art.
Photography by © MIKIMOTO
Art or Craftwork? The High Jewell…