Mikimoto Celebrates 120 Years with Four Seasons of High Jewelry

  • Mikimoto earrings
  • Mikimoto ring
  • Mikimoto ring
  • Mikimoto necklace detail
  • Mikimoto necklace
  • Tanya Dukes

For all their glamour and prestige, cultured pearls were first created under unexpectedly modest circumstances. Kokichi Mikimoto, the son of a noodle-shop owner, developed an early fascination with natural pearls but was dismayed by their uneven quality and erratic availability. Inspired to develop a method for cultivating pearls that would match the beauty of the finest natural ones, Mikimoto experimented for more than five years—and nearly faced financial ruin—before hitting upon a successful method in 1893. That first discovery was the beginning of his namesake jewelry company, which was destined to become Japan’s leading luxury brand and synonymous with exceptional pearl jewelry the world over.

To celebrate its 120-year history, the Mikimoto brand has unveiled Four Seasons ($170,000 to $275,000), a collection of nine lavish, one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by the unique beauty of each fleeting phase of the year. The winter-themed suite surrounds baroque white South Sea pearls with an organically shaped formation of jewels in icy hues—sapphires, Paraíba tourmalines, and diamonds—and set in white gold. A pendant necklace, a ring, and earrings frame white South Sea pearls in a fresh, garden palette of pink and purple sapphires, amethysts, Paraíba tourmalines, and diamonds to represent the delicate splendor of spring. Summer sunshine and the sea translate into pink, orange, yellow, and blue sapphires surrounding a white South Sea cultured pearl in a ring and earrings. Golden South Sea pearls combined with spessartite garnets and yellow and orange sapphires evoke autumn’s warm colors.

A beautiful tribute to the legacy of the company’s founder, the jewels represent the highest expression of both the culture-pearl technique he mastered and the artistry developed by Mikimoto during its long history. (www.mikimotoamerica.com)

From Around the Web...
These Indian innovators are reimagining traditional styles for modern tastes…
59-carat Pink Star diamond
The Pink Star stands to break a world record when it crosses the block in April…
These bright designs are bursting with color and life…
Hemmerle's jeweled rectangular earrings with a 19th century micro mosaic portrait of an Egyptian Pharoah
A look at the top designs unveiled at one of the world’s most prestigious art and antiques event…
Designer Bina Goenka’s pink-pearl designs are a labor of love, and great persistence…
K. Brunini Jewels
The SoCal-based artist talks connecting to gems, the power of earthly wonders, and more…
This Swiss jewelry house risks shattering its most brilliant gems to create exceptional designs…
A deceptive gem, which has a beauty all its own…
Baker & Black jewelry
Baker & Black founder talks recycled materials, her art-inspired designs, and must-have jewelry…
Get a preview of the must-see lots crossing the block at four top auction houses this season…