In my post “What is the big deal about Mikimoto?” I wrote:
In the 1980s, I traveled to Japan with my family and my Dad bought my first strand of pearls. My father, of course, thought that he needed to buy Mikimoto's. But, the Japanese people assured him there were many gorgeous pearls in Japan that did not have the Mikimoto name or signature clasp.
Dad chose to go with the Tokyo Pearl Company, not Mikimoto pearls.
It is interesting, even in 1984, the Mikimoto name was huge. And, there were also many other Japanese pearl companies competing in the international pearl market. To choose Tokyo Pearl Company and not Mikimoto pearls was a big deal to my parents. But, it was also a more affordable choice, even then.
My mom bought pearl necklaces for each of us in June on 1984 in Tokyo and, once back in Georgia, ordered more pearls for Christmas.
A few years ago when my parents decided to move into a smaller home. While my mom was going through her old files, she found her old communications with the Tokyo Pearl Company.
Remember air mail envelopes with the thin paper? Mom’s correspondences with the Tokyo Pearl Company was though typed airmailed letters and cashiers checks.
By Christmas, 1984 she had new bracelets and earrings to match our pearl necklaces!
She also had longer pearl necklaces that she enjoyed for years and mixed and matched until she eventually passed them on to my sisters and I.
So, how much did those pearls, not Mikimoto pearls, cost in 1984?
The 30” strands were $494 each, 6” double strand bracelets with small pearls were $49.50 each, studs were $62 each and earrings with three pearls were $70 each.
I remember is that they purchased from the Tokyo Pearl company because they were more affordable than Mikimoto pearls. How much more affordable? This I do not know.
I have since thought about that transaction. Would I love my pearls more if they were from Mikimoto? Not likely. However, I do wonder if they would have if they would be considered more valuable now, with the Mikimoto name attached to them. Absolutely! As I mentioned in my post, “What is the big deal about Mikimoto?” The Mikimoto name matters in the resellers market.
I will never attempt to resell my pearls. I always say that the value of pearls surpasses the monetary value. These were a treasured gift when I received them and they will always be considered a treasure to me.