All of our pearls are hand selected from only the finest pearl crops Ima-city of the Mie prefecture, Japan. In fact, we select our pearls from the top 3% of all cultured pearls produced annually. After careful selection using our quality standards explained in detail below, we then make all our pearl necklaces, earrings and pendants by hand.
Another quality assurance check is done by our team in the U.S. They check the order to ensure it is correct and review the pearls to ensure they meet the Masato mark for superior quality. Learn more about our quality standards:
Cultured pearls come in many colors. In Japanese cultured Akoya pearls, the most desired color is pink, and is routinely priced higher in the market. These pearls are also available in hues varying from platinum to creamy yellows. Depending on current demand the average price of a certain color changes drastically. Another aspect customers must consider is whether a pearl’s coloring is natural or not, the treatments used on pearls before being introduced into the market determines a piece’s actual value.
The nacre thickness of a cultured pearl is a critical factor in determining the value of a necklace because cultured pearls with thin nacre tend to flake or crack exposing the nucleus of the pearl over time. A pearl’s nacre thickness is the indicator for how long a pearl has been cultured. The general market consensus for luxury quality pearl jewelry varies by pearl type: 0.35-mm+ for Japanese Akoya, 1-mm for Tahitian black pearls and South Sea pearls.
Surface quality refers to how many wounds or blemishes a pearl has on its surface. Surface quality is one of three aesthetic indicators that should be reflected within pricing for obvious reasons. Higher priced pearls should have fewer wounds.
A pearl’s luster is also known as the “brilliance” of a pearl. This refers to the intensity of the glow or shine of the pearl’s surface. Pearls should have sharp, clear reflections similar to a mirror, not blurry or opaque (think mirror not frosted light-bulb.)
Round pearls are of higher quality. Only cultured salt water pearls (ex, Japanese Akoya, Tahitian, South Sea) are capable of being perfectly round. Fresh water pearls are classified as “near-round” and are only capable of being ovular.