Maki-e is a paint technique developed 1,000 years ago in Japan. Lacquer is applied to surfaces and then powdered gold or silver paint is mixed in for various flat or raised ornamentations. Mosaics have also been produced for centuries. Pearl mosaics are recent. They feature tiny abalone tiles that are often accented by designs rendered in the same 24k powered gold paint used to create maki-e pearls. In general, beautiful clean pearl surfaces are exposed while designs are executed over any dimpled areas of the pearl. To date, only South Sea pearls are used to make maki-e and pearl mosaic creations.