Mikimoto celebrates the Year of the Horse with the new Ruyi collection © Mikimoto

Mikimoto celebrates the Year of the Horse with the new Ruyi collection

Mesmerising pearls and shimmering jewels make for one of the most beautiful collections yet

by 28 November 2014

Glimmering from within, those little nacreous spheres known as pearls remind us perhaps more vividly than any other gemstones of the miracles of nature. Even more miraculous to know that a man named Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in culturing pearls in late 19th century Japan, where overfishing and red tides added to the challenge of financial difficulties and the complete lack of machinery and scientific research at the time. Mikimoto's story is one of determination and the unwavering pursuit of quality and beauty, from the very first pearl to today's stunning collections.

He just had to see it to believe it: it was in Thomas Edison's home in 1927 when Mr. Mikimoto showed the inventor a cultured pearl. "It is one of the wonders of the world that you were able to culture pearls," said Edison in awe. The meeting between the two great men became headlines in the New York Times and announced Mikimoto as the world's first man to ever culture a pearl. The news catapulted the Japanese maison to world fame...

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It was Mr. Mikimoto's wish to adorn every woman in the world with his beautiful pearls in all their fascinating colour, lustre and nacreous quality. One by one, Mikimoto's boutiques opened their doors to discerning women around the world: London (1913), Shanghai (1916), New York, Paris, Bombay, Los Angeles and Chicago (from 1927 to 1933), and many more. By blending traditional Japanese craftsmanship with European jewellery-making techniques, Mikimoto collections have an enduring appeal that transcends time and cultural borders.

The latest collection, Ruyi, draws inspirations from Chinese sartorial knots that symbolize eternity and luck. Precious metals are meticulously worked into patterns forming lucky knots, winding long knots and pipa knots, while spotlighting the mesmerizing pearls for a unique design. A departure from the intricate knots adorning Chinese costumes and formalwear, the Ruyi collection embodies women's love for both couture and pearls.

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Try on the 18k pink gold pendant that meets in the centre with a diamond-set knot and parts into two strands that drape beautifully down the front, featuring a total of 11 pearls. Or go for a long necklace with Akoya pearls and the same diamond-set knot. It goes beautifully with a pair of Akoya pearl and diamond earrings, also crafted in 18k pink gold. For the evening, we love the full diamond pipa knot design in South Sea pearls, diamonds and 18k gold, with pendant, ring and earrings making a stunning jewellery set.

The 'Mikimoto x Hello Kitty Collection' exhibited in ifc Mall's atrium last autumn was proof that the 121-year-old Japanese jewellery brand still knows how to dazzle discerning women who love pearls. Six high jewellery designs – a 12-strand Akoya pearl necklace, tiara, brooch and more – blend whimsical designs of the pop culture icon with stunning craftsmanship for a truly unique collection.