You Won't Believe the Story behind the Pearls Wrapped around Kim Kardashian West's Neck in Her Paper Magazine Cover

Some say Kim Kardashian West is the Marilyn Monroe of our time and as Marilyn once said, “diamonds are a girls best friend” but the timeless elegance of pearls is as unique as the woman who wears them. Once a woman wraps a strand of pearls around her neck, she lifts it little higher, confidently greeting the world as if it is her oyster.


The story behind the cluster of pearl necklaces and earrings by Mikimoto worn by Mrs. West for the Paper magazine cover is a tale that defines the meaning of luxury. Kokichi Mikimoto, the 101-year-old Japanese jeweler created the world's first cultured pearl. Just like diamonds, pearls have a grading system, and only 10% of the finest quality cultured pearls are worthy enough to carry the Mikimoto name.


At Geneva Seal we hold quality to the highest regard. Chicago's favorite jeweler, Leonard Goldberg, has over 20 years of experience in the pearl grading system which was pioneered by Mikimoto. Because of the knowledge acquired by many years of training that Mr. Goldberg has in the pearl industry, Geneva Seal is able to provide our clients with the finest quality pearls available. We, like Mikimito, house only the most exquisite and exclusive pearls available. The story of Mikimoto is similar to that of our family, starting with nothing and slowly building a jewelry house that holds only the finest jewelry in the world.

Kokichi Mikimoto was only 13 years old when he became fascinated with pearl hunting his town's most famous product: Ise Pearls. He was unhappy with the pearl industries lack of quality when he saw misshapen and underdeveloped pearls being sold. He learned that Akoya oysters produced the best pearls. He explored methods of introducing a particle into the flesh of the oyster to stimulate secretions of "nacre" that build up in hundreds of thousands of layers, creating a lustrous pearl.

Mikimoto dropped out of school to support his family after his father fell ill and with an entrepreneur spirit and highly intellectual mind, took the pearl industry by storm. But not without plenty of setbacks, from natural disasters that threatened the survival of his oyster beds to oyster-eating octopi. It wasn't until Mikimoto was 35 when his wife gathered a basket of oysters from the sea to inspect and found a shimmering pearl. The first cultured pearl.

The Japanese house of Mikimoto cultured pearls brought unprecedented luxury to a new breed of emancipated, working woman, delivering quintessential femininity and the ultimate in classic style to women all over the globe. Like Mrs. West's oiled up body, Mikimoto's pieces are objects of desire.

One woman who treasured her Mikimoto pearls is Marilyn Monroe. One of the few pieces of precious jewelery owned by Monroe, the 16-inch strand of 44 Akoya pearls, with its signature Mikimoto gold clasp, is iconic.

We doubt it is by coincidence that Mrs. West chose to wear the same pearls that were adorned by Marilyn Monroe since her husband, Kanye West, is extremely vocal about his wife being compared to Marilyn. Whether or not you think Kim Kardashian is the Marilyn Monroe of our time, one thing we could agree on is that the pearls wrapped around her neck are the finest quality cultured pearls in the world.