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Japanese Akoya pearls are the traditional cultured pearls which took over from the natural pearl trade in the 1930’s. The Japanese pearl farmers began to look at how oysters produced pearls and realized that they could be encouraged to do this in a safer farm environment as opposed to the open seas. These pearls are cultured by inserting a round bead into the Akoya oyster which gives it the nucleus upon which to lay down layers of nacre, thus creating a perfectly round pearl.