Akoya pearls come from the Akoya pearl oysters ( Pinctada fucata), which are found in the waters around Japan. They are sometimes called “Japanese pearls”, but now a large amount of Akoya pearls are being produced in China as well. The pearl bearing oysters are small and the pearls cultivated from those oysters are small accordingly. Up until now, they range from 2mm to 9mm or, very rarely, 10mm in size. The annual production of Akoya pearls is huge, Akoya Pearlaround 100 tons each year. The culturing period is short, about 9 months and nacre coating is much thinner than South Sea pearls. The real advantage of Akoya pearls is their affordability. A necklace can be purchased for a few hundred dollar, rather than the many thousand of dollars needed for a South Sea strand. Japanese tried to produce bigger pearl from larger oyster, and the first huge pearls were harvested, in 1928, at Buton in Indonesia. To everyone’s amazement those pearls were 8mm to 10mm in size and had thick nacreous coating. At that time Akoya pearl’s size range was between 3mm and 4mm.