This is one of my mothers old jewellery boxes. It is made of velvet but the top of painted silk is deteriorating rapidly. I have chosen three of her everyday pieces she wore. I wear the ring with the ruby. A small brooch of 24 carat gold, it is very soft and has a diamond in it. I like the simple gold brooch with a row of garnets. My sister and my eldest daughter have necklaces, bracelets and rings. I have also her wedding ring which is double with the added ring of my father when he died. It was the custom to add the husbands ring. All these pieces are very old.
Double string of Mikimoto pearls; they have never changed their lustre, but had to be restrung from time to time.
Mikimoto had received a patent in 1896 for producing hemispherical pearls, or mabes, and a 1908 patent for culturing in mantle tissue, but he could not use the Mise-Nishikawa method without invalidating his own patents. Mikimoto then altered his patent application to cover a technique to make round pearls in mantle tissue, which was granted in 1916. However, this method was not commercially viable. Mikimoto finally made arrangements to use Nishikawa's methods after 1916, and Mikimoto's business began to expand rapidly.
The new technology enabled Japan's cultured pearl industry to quickly expand after 1916; by 1935 there were 350 pearl farms in Japan producing 10 million cultured pearls annually.
By 1935 the Japanese pearl industry was facing oversupply issues and plummeting prices for Japanese cultured pearls. Mikimoto promoted Japanese pearls in Europe and the USA to counteract falling prices. He publicly burnt tons of low-quality pearls as a publicity stunt to establish a reputation that the Mikimoto company only sold high-quality cultured pearls.