Pearl Quality and Grading
Premium Pearl grades pearls from A, AA, to AAA Quality. AAA Quality pearls have the highest quality, exceptionally high luster, and very clearn surface
There are several factors that determine the quality and value of the pearl: luster, nacre thickness, surface texture, color, shape, size and matching. A combination of these characteristics decides the overall quality and value of pearls.
|A to A+ Quality
||Low to Medium||Medium||Round||Medium||Thin|
|AA to AA+ Quality||Medium to High||Light||Round||Very Good||Medium to Thick|
|Very High||Very Clean||Round||Excellent||
Pearls are graded using 7 different categories
1) Size of Pearls
Usually the larger the pearl, the more valuable it is. Factors such as luster, however, also have an effect on price - a smaller pearl with better luster can sometimes equal the cost of a larger, less lustrous pearl.
The Japanese pearls are grown from around 2½ mm up to 9½ mm. The South Sea pearls grow from 8½ mm up to 20 and sometimes 23mm in size. Mabe pearls range in size from 8mm up to 18mm, and the Fresh water pearls grow from 3mm up to now 9–9 ½ mm.
2) Nacre of Pearls
Nacre is an organic substance deposited layer upon layer by pearl oysters. The quality of nacre is defined by its thickness and layering. All our cultured pearls have substantial nacre thickness and regular layering.
3) Surface of Pearls
Pearls are cultivated in a natural environment. Most pearls have slight surface irregularities showing the traces of nature. Perfectly clean pearls are a rarity.A pearl can then be graded as having a clean surface to a heavily pitted surface.
Some pearls are graded using an ‘A’ to ‘D’ grading (A pearls are flawless, B have up to 5 blemishes and 75% of their surface clean, C pearls still have 5 blemishes with 50% of their surface marked, whilst D pearls have more than 50% of their surface marked).
4) Shape of Pearls
Round pearls are the most treasured and the most difficult to cultivate. Akoya, Tahitian, and South Sea Pearls have shapes that are Round or Baroque (shaped like a teardrop). Freshwater pearls appear as round, nearly round, button, coin, flat, rice, oval, and cross shaped.
5) Color of Pearls
Basic body colors include white, cream, golden, gray, black, blue, green and pink. Overtone is one or two colors that overlie the body color. Overtone colors include pink, silver, and green. Color in pearls is a preference, often based on geographical location or skin tones. For South Sea and Tahitian pearls, colors are represented in a different category. These pearls come from large oysters found in Australia, Philippines, Tahiti and other South Sea regions. Golden South Sea Pearls are rare and very valuable. Premium Pearl has a wide selection in terms of pearl colors.
6) Matching of Pearls
Pearls come in a wide range of colors. Some have subtle overtones giving the pearls a complex hue. Since no two pearls share exactly the same nuance, expertise is needed to compose strands and pairs of matching colors. All of our cultured pearls have good to excellent matching.
7) Luster of Pearls
Luster is perhaps the most important factor in determining the value of a cultured pearl.Luster refers to the light reflected from the layers of nacre. The more intensely the light reflects, the higher the luster.