The Wide World of Pearls, Our 87th Issue: Hello, Hanadama!
We will NEVER get over these lustrous Metallic Freshwater pearls we spotted at the annual Hong Kong Gem and Jewellery Show. That intense iridescence doesn't hurt either! :)
You Ask ...We Answer.
As founder of Pearls of Joy, Kevin Canning, puts it, Hanadama Akoya pearls are "The Ferrari of Pearls". And we agree! These stunningly lustrous, perfectly shaped and perfectly matched pearls are in a class of their own.
Saltwater Pearl Type: Hanadama Akoya pearls are grown in the pinctada fucata martensii saltwater pearl oyster. The p. martensii oyster is native to the coastal waters of Japan and China, Vietnam and Myanmar (formerly Burma).
Traditionally White Colors: Hanadama Akoya pearls most often feature a white body color, with classic overtones of rose, silver and cream. The only other color for Hanadama pearls is a natural, untreated Silver-Blue, and these certified pearls are called “Madama”.
Rose Overtones are Most Common: The most prevalent overtone is rose, and this is where Hanadama pearls get their name! The term Hanadama is a Japanese term that Mikimoto himself applied to his finest pearls … it means “flower pearl” due to their pastel pink hues.
Small to Moderate Sizes: Ranging from 7 mm to 9.5 mm and rarely 10 mm at their very largest. Their moderate sizes make them perfect for nearly any occasion and age group.
Perfectly Round Shapes: Hanadama pearls are chosen from the highest quality lots of Akoya pearls at each harvest. Akoya pearls are famous for their perfectly round shapes, called “eight way rollers” because they will roll smoothly in all eight directions when placed on a flat surface.
Perfect Matching: Hanadama Akoya pearls are all expertly matched for body color, overtone, shape, size, luster and surface quality. Each pair of earrings or full strand necklace will feature extremely little variation in matching, creating perfectly matched pearl jewelry.
“Mirror-Like” Luster: Hanadama pearls are coveted for their intense, incredibly bright luster, able to reflect incredibly detailed objects in their surfaces. The Hanadama pearl type is the only pearl type that is actually certified to display the highest levels of luster of all Akoya pearls.
Every Hanadama Pearl Necklace or pair of perfectly matched Earrings comes with its own numbered certification from the Pearl Science Laboratory of Tokyo, Japan. These "PSL" certs detail various minimum factors that the pearls absolutely must meet in order to qualify for the coveted title "Hanadama".
A quick look at the certificates reveals that the pearls are evaluated for:
Shape: True Round, No Deviation from Perfectly Spherical Shape
Surface Quality: 95-99% Clean to the Eye. 1 Deep Inclusion Allowable for Full Strand.
Luster: Excellent / Mirror-Like. Detailed Reflections Visible in Surfaces
Matching: Near-Perfect to Perfect for Size, Shape, Body Color, Overtone, Surface Quality and Luster
Nacre Thickness: Minimum of 0.4mm Deep on Each Side of Pearl
*** For Hanadama Pearls Measurable Aurora / Orient Effect Must Be Present ***
The rainbow surrounding the pyramid of pearls on the certificate indicates that the pearls have been evaluated for the Aurora Effect, as shown above.
If you are falling in love for these pearls as hard as we did and want to learn more about these incredible pearls, we highly recommend reading our in-depth article: Hanadama Pearls 101.
"Top Range" Hanadama Akoya Pearl Earrings, 8.0-8.5mm
Each set of Hanadama pearl earrings comes with a numbered certificate issued by the Pearl Science Lab of Japan and has undergone a lengthy testing process to ensure each set of earrings meets the strict standards necessary to receive a Hanadama grade. These pearls have the thickest, cleanest nacre out of any Akoya pearl on earth, and it is this thick nacre that produces the truly breathtaking luster exhibited.
Hanadama pearls represent the top .01% of the Japanese harvest, which makes the supply of these pearls very limited and unpredictable.