In 1899, the first Mikimoto pearl shop opened in the fashionable Ginza district of Tokyo selling natural seed pearls and half round pearls. The Mikimoto business expanded internationally, opening stores in London (1913).
After World War II Mikimoto opened in Paris, New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai and Bombay, and was thus one of the first Japanese brands to attain an international presence and recognition.
Mikimoto had to constantly fight allegations that his pearls were only “imitations” of real pearls, despite scientific reports to the contrary. Mikimoto took advantage of every opportunity to personally promote his pearls, and took part in the 1926 Philadelphia World Exposition in which he displayed a replica of the "Liberty Bell" covered with pearls.
Mikimoto was the official jeweler of the Miss USA (2003–2008), Miss Universe (2002–2007) andMiss Teen USA (2001–2008) pageants, under the Miss Universe Organization.
Official Site: http://www.mikimotoamerica.com/