Kokichi Mikimoto was the man behind the cultured pearl business. He patented first cultured round shaped pearl and developed a proper method for producing pearls. Later he owned a company producing 75% of the production of pearls in the world.
It took Mikimoto almost 12 years to deliver perfectly round pearl from oyster. He launched in 1919 the cultured pearls in London at considerably lesser price than natural pearls and created a big sensation.
Mikimoto secured his patents for all the procedures and tools for making cultured pearls. Mikimoto pearl necklace is still considered as prized possession.
History of pearls
- Pearls were considered to be the first precious gems that were worn by mankind. Pearls were symbol of chastity purity and feminine charm.
- Pearls are mentioned in 5,000-year-old Hindu scriptures and also in 4,300-year-old Chinese story about a daughter of a king.
They are mentioned in the Bible and also were found at the archaeological sites which is 5500-year-old in Europe and America.
- Oldest pearl necklace dated around 350 B.C. is the still available and was found at western Iran, which is home of Persian king’s winter palace. Also, pearls were unearthed at 2,500-year-old sites located at the ancient Peru Mount and also in Albán in Mexico.
- Roman women ornamented gowns and furniture with pearls and preferred to sleep along with pearls so that their dreams could fill with lustrous gems.
- Slippers were worn by Caligula which was covered with pearls, draped with pearl necklace on favourite horse’s neck.
- Nero decorated his sceptre and also Constantine used pearls to decorate his helmet.
- Pearl was one of the main reasons; Julius Caesar invaded in Britain during 55 B.C. to capture freshwater pearls from Scotland.
- Vitellus a Roman general sold his mother’s pearls to pay for entire military campaign.
- Cleopatra once had betted Marc Anthony that she is ready to give dinner party which will be the world’s most expensive party. For winning the bet she just crushed her expensive pearl earrings to drink it with goblet of wine. It is said that one earring was worth silver of 100,000 pounds.