For over 100 years, cultured Akoya pearls have gone through a process called “bleaching and pinking” … and it’s such a standard practice, that this ‘treatment’ is not disclosed on gemology reports or even considered necessary to disclose during a sale for Akoya pearls. It's simply part of how Akoya pearls are cultured.
What is bleaching and pinking?
"Bleaching" occurs immediately after an Akoya pearl harvest. Since the beginning … even back during Mikimoto’s time … most Akoya pearls once pulled from their oysters showed a distinctly greenish/brownish tinge ... Obviously no one wants a “green” pearl necklace!
A solution had to be found... and it was. The bleaching treatment involves soaking the newly harvested pearls in jars of a hydrogen peroxide solution and bombarded with UV light (hence the bleaching part) to remove the green, yellow, brown and even blue natural coloring.
“Pinking”happens after bleaching and the pearls are transferred to pinking jars and are made to soak in a pink-colored solution (the recipes are trade secrets) to re-absorb some of that coveted iridescent and rose coloring that everyone finds so flattering.
Natural color Hanadama pearls are pearls that skip all of that.
They are naturally beautiful at harvest-time, and do not need any extra steps to become jewelry quality. Natural color Hanadama pearls have only been available to pearl lovers at large for the past decade or so as demand has risen for cultured pearls as close to the “real deal” as possible.
Natural color Hanadama pearls are additionally certified by the PSL as having ZERO treatments of any kind … they’re handled like South Sea pearls after harvest, in which the pearls are removed from the oyster, scrubbed in a salt slurry and then polished with bamboo chips to bring out their shine. That’s it. Because the pearls are naturally beautiful, the rate of luster and Aurora effect are more visibly pronounced, making for an overall prettier pearl. And it’s all guaranteed by the PSL.