Blue Lagoon by Mikimoto or any Akoya pearl?


Nov 28, 2018

I stumbled on this forum after a search about Blue lagoon by mikimoto. And I’m so glad I found this forum since I have gotten quite an education about pearls !

My husband got me a 7.5x7mm 18inches blue lagoon for $1300. I thought he got a good deal until I started looking into online website that was stated in some of the postings here. I saw better prices and qualities (basing on pictures) on other websites.

I wanted to get an expert advice on whether I should return and get one from any of the trusted websites listed in this forum. Also did my husband got a good deal ? Is this the price expected for a blue lagoon quality? Should I go for a Akoya or Akoya hanadama or just hanadama?

Costco is also selling an Akoya 18inches 8-8.5mm for less than $1,100. Some buyers have mentioned a pink tinged/color to it. Is this expected of Akoya? What does it mean when a pearl has a pink color to it? Is it a lesser quality than a white one?

I really appreciate everyone’s input.
Thank you
I'll reply to the pinked color. Virtually all akoya pearls are first bleached (to remove any undesirable off-colors), then pinked (because many people find this attractive). This happens in the factory, before they are strung. It's considered a pre-treatment and therefore is not disclosed.
Some may be pinked more than others, but they still look white against the skin

There are unbleached, unpinked high grade akoya pearls-- the "natural white hanadama" pearls, being sold by Pearl Paradise. Here is a thread with photos of the natural white hanadamas:
[h=1]Hanadama pearls from Pearl[/h]
Some people will prefer pinked, some unpinked.
Also, you have to consider your budget, but also the size you prefer. Pearl size (3D size-- volume) increases rapidly with small increases in MM (diameter). For example, a 10mm pearl is almost twice as large as an 8mm pearl!

[For obscure mathematical explanation see this: ]Comparative pearl sizes-- how much difference does 1mm larger really make?

I think it's generally wise to buy the best quality pearls you can afford, but you have to balance this with the size you want. 7.5 x 7.0mm, while being a very common size for pearls (I think it's actually the most common size akoya necklace sold) may start to feel a bit small over time. We joke about Pearl Shrinkage Syndrome :p but it's real!! My own preference is for larger size pearls. But akoyas start to get pricier when you go over 8mm.

Not everyone can afford their optimal size pearls in the best quality (hanadama.) For many people it's a balancing act.

There is no standardization for pearl quality, unlike diamonds. Each vendor grades pearls according to their own guidelines. Check the websites you are considering buying from to see how they define their pearl grades.

And be sure they have a good return policy.
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I have a strand of Blue Lagoon pearls that I got from my Aunt Love. They were a gift to her, so she never knew what they cost. They are quite lovely and very high quality. Very smooth, very round and thick nacre. If you compare what you bought to the price of a similarly sized Hanadama strand, your strand cost only a couple hundred dollars less, and is probably very close in quality. I think you got a good deal.
Thank you. This is such great info. I am of Asian ethnicity so I wonder if the pink coloring will look white against my skin.
I have an earring that is about 10mm so I am leaning more towards 8-8.5mm size. What can I expect to pay if I am going for an Akoya vs Hanadama?
Hanadama refers to akoya pearls that were certified by the Pearl Science Lab in Japan. To be certified "handama" the pearls have to meet certain standards for nacre thickness, cleanliness, luster etc. Vendors who wish to have their top AAA strands certified have to send the pearls to that lab and pay a fee for the evaluation. If they pass, the pearls are given a certificate that is specific to that particular piece, which includes the details for that piece (nacre thickness, etc.)

By the way, not all companies or vendors choose to submit pearls for this certification. That doesn't mean they don't sell high quality pearls.

So really what you want to do is compare handama akoya with AAA akoya prices.

Pearl Paradise is one company that sells both, if you want to look up prices and get a sense of the difference.
I went to a local high-end jewelry store this afternoon to have new batteries put in a couple of watches. While I waited, I perused their sizeable selection of Mikimoto pearls. Although I was about the only customer in the store, no one bothered to ask If I needed assistance, so I could only look at them through the glass case and under the jewelry-enhancing lights that all jewelry stores have, but wow, were they all really pinked. So pinked that if I were buying, I'd pass them by.