Pearls used to be known as the jewelry of Queens and royalty for the simple reason that they were so expensive to produce and find. Pearl diving was and is a dangerous occupation and the quality of wild specimens was rarely high enough quality to use. That all changed when Kokichi Mikimoto invented cultivation of pearls in the Edo period. His flawless pearls became an instant hit and remain phoenix brooch the finest even to this day. His brand pearl necklaces are sought after to this day.
When buying a pearl necklace, the first thing to keep in mind is the shape and size of your neck. The length of the necklace should match your neck shape. For this reason, if you are shopping Mikimoto, it's best to go for the Matinee and Princess models as they are known to fit most people.
Mikimoto hat brooch jewelry carry the characteristic 'M' embossment in the background. This is the guarantee that the jewelry is indeed produced by the highest standards in Izu, Japan. Be wary of copycats and knockoffs, Mikimoto jewelry is of very high standard but only produced in Japan.
Standard precautions should be taken when shopping for pearls. The most important things to look for is the surface - swarovski rhinestone are there any cracks or blemishes? A magnifying glass is suitable for this purpose.
Mikimoto pearls have a ranking system ranking from the highest A-A-A to the lowest A-A-A-2. The high quality specimens should be very reflective, almost like looking into a miniature mirror. This feature is called luster and it is what makes pearls so beautiful.
Before reaching for your credit card it is always a good idea to decide on a budget or it's easy to be lured into buying more than you budgeted for. There's really no limit to how much money you can spend on jewelry.