Understanding Pearl Grades

Pearl Grading

 

The most important thing to understand when comparing pearl grades: Every company in the world that sells pearls uses a grading system that they themselves arbitrarily created. There is no standardized system. When pearls are purchased wholesale, a range of quality and price is always presented. Buyers determine which pearls fall into their respective grading categories. One buyer’s AAA grade can be another’s A or AA grade simply because one is selecting from a more expensive, higher range of pearl. The highest-rated pearl from one seller might not meet the minimum threshold of another seller’s lowest grade—even if the presented letter grades are identical. The result of this unregulated system is sheer confusion! Once you understand this about pearl grading, the most important thing to remember when shopping for pearls is finding a reputable company, one with many years of experience and the ability to back what they sell.

The Pearl Paradise Grading System

Pearl Paradise has a stringent approach to grading that we’d like to share with you. Understanding where your pearl is from and it’s unique qualities is one of the joys of owning a beautiful pearl, surely making it a piece to be treasured forever.

Akoya Pearl Freshwater PearlTahitian PearlSouth Sea Pearl

 

Grading Chart for Akoya Pearls

Akoya are the quintessential, classic pearls, prized for their perfect round shape and unmistakable luster.
For decades, we have been working with the same family-run pearl companies in Japan. They understand our rigorous grading standards and select pearls specifically for Pearl Paradise. They ensure the pearls we offer are from the top range of each grading category. This is something you’ll recognize and appreciate the moment you open the box.

Grading Chart for Freshwater Pearls

Best known for their whimsical shape, variety of colors and shapes, the character of freshwater pearls is unparalleled. Because they offer a wider diversity of colors, shapes, and sizes than any other type of pearl, there are freshwater pearls that complement every style.

Since 1997, we have specialized in sourcing round freshwater pearls. As round shapes are the exception and not the rule in freshwater, the pearls we offer are truly special.

Grading Chart for Tahitian Pearls

Tahitian pearls and have become some of the most sought-after pearls in the world. Because of their vast color range, matching these pearls into a finished strand is an enormous task requiring thousands of loose pearls to create a single strand.

We carry the largest selection of 100% genuine, natural-color Tahitian pearls online. We use only fine, export-grade Tahitian pearls in all our jewelry prices, and every necklace is individually photographed.*

Grading Chart for South Sea Pearls

Their large size, limited culturing area, and extended growth period all combine to make South Sea pearls the rarest of all pearl types. Found in colors ranging from optic white to a deep, honey gold, these pearls are prized by collectors and designers alike. Their luster, whether white or golden, is soft and luxurious. Golden South Sea pearls are among the rarest and most sought-after pearls in the world.

 

 

RARITY:High-quality pearls are still rare. Only fifty percent of nucleated pearls survive to bear pearls. Out of that fifty percent, twenty percent produce pearls worthy of selling.The pearls that have what it takes to be gem quality are selected form the world's topgraded pearls.These rarities contain qualities that are so exceptional that they are separated from the best P-AAA graded pearls and sent to the Pearl Science Laboratory in Tokyo. This organization is responsible for testing and assigning Freshadama certifications to pearls who quality.

LUSTER:Of the factors used to grade the quality of a pearl, the luster is probably the most important and has the greatest impact on a pearl's worth. Pearl luster is measured by the degree to which it's surface is reflective. To achieve the highest luster, a pearl must have an extremely thick nacre quality, as well as a blemish free surface and perfect shape.
Of the factors used to grade the quality of a pearl, the luster is probably the most important and has the greatest impact on a pearl's worth. Pearl luster is measured by the degree to which it's surface is reflective. To achieve the highest luster, a pearl must have an extremely thick nacre quality, as well as a blemish free surface and perfect shape.

SURFACE QUALITY:Anything with organic origins will inherently have imperfections. Even pearls with thick nacre can have surface characteristics such as wrinkles, tiny bubbles, spots, or other small blemishes. Most of these do nothing more than affecting the cosmetic appearance to lower the grade of a pearl. However, some irregularities such as chips or gaps can significantly compromise a pearl's durability causing it to peel or crack.

COLOR:Tahitian Pearls are loved for the rich, deep, earthy hues. This pearl's color has three components. Bodycolor is the pearl's dominant overall color. Overtone is one or more translucent colors that lie over a pearl's bodycolor. And orient is a shimmer of iridescent rainbow colors on or just below a pearl's surface.