Pearl Quality, Ranking and Grading Factors…
Pearls In time grades pearls from A, AA to AAA in quality.
While AAA quality pearls feature the highest quality pearls available, Our often less costly AA and A quality pearls give consumers a product well above their expectation as we employ one of the most stringent and rigorous grading processes in the industry.
Regardless of your budget we have a set of pearls that will be absolutely beautiful on you.
Pearl Quality Factors:
All pearls are uniquely beautiful and there are no two alike. To make it easier for the consumers as well as people in the industry, GIA or the Gemological Institute of America has created a standard grading system for people to use when looking to purchase or grade pearl jewelry.
In Addition to following these strict guidelines we also grade all of our pearl jewelry with a strictly visual grading system which denotes quality as the following:
All pearls are measured in millimeters, and measured to the nearest 0.5mm. Sizes range from pearls as small as 2 mm to pearls as large as 20 mm or in the rare circumstances even larger. Please note as a general rule sizes over 12mm typically apply to Tahitian and South Sea pearls exclusively.
Pearl shapes are broken down into 3 main categories to make it easier to classify which shape the pearl is when performing a visual evaluation, as there are many shapes available.
The categories are as follows:
A spherical pearl includes pearls that are round and near round to the eye.
A symmetrical pearl includes pearls that are oval in shape, button as well as those shaped like a drop.
A baroque pearl includes not only baroque, but also semi-baroque pearls.
What baroque means is that the pearl will have an irregular appearance in the shape. If there are any pearls that do not fall into these categories, you may describe the shape as you see it, for example a pearl shaped like a coin is simply called a "coin pearl".
There is such a broad spectrum available when it comes to what colors pearls are available in. There are many colors that come naturally to the pearls that are cultured, as well as pearls that have had their colors enhanced through dying or other treatments. What makes up a pearls color are one of three characteristics:
- Body-color- the overall color of the pearl, and the color that you see most.
- Overtone- the subtle color that looks almost translucent over the main body color.
- Orient- an iridescent shimmer or rainbow-like color that is on a pearls surface or just below it.
The luster is what really brings out the true beauty of a pearl, it is what gives the pearls it's shine. What luster is exactly, is the way the light is reflected from the surface of the pearl.
Luster is graded from very high to low or excellent to fair.
Pearl Surface Quality:
The surface quality of a pearl is how clean a pearl looks to the eye, and the condition of the pearls surface. Surface quality is narrowed down into 4 classifications clean, lightly blemished, moderately blemished and heavily blemished.
- A clean pearl is a pearl that is blemish free or has such minor surface characteristics that even a trained eye would find it difficult to locate any imperfections.
- A lightly blemished pearl has minor irregularities in the surface of the pearl.
- A moderately blemished pearl has noticeable surface characteristics.
- A heavily blemished pearl has obvious surface characteristics.
Pearl Nacre Thickness:
Nacre quality is the thickness of the nacre and layering on the pearl. You primarily need to consider this factor with pearls that have been bead nucleated, such as South Sea Pearls, Tahitian Pearls and Akoya Pearls.
Freshwater pearls are tissue nucleated, and composed of all nacre.
Matching is the overall look of a piece and how uniform the pearls are together. Sometimes pearls are intentionally mismatched, however look at the overall look to see if the pearls are complimentary of one another.
The pearls do not all have to be nearly identical, however they should be complimentary together. To come to a conclusion as to how well the pearls 'match' you need to consider all of the value factors together.