icon

Free 2-Day FedEx On US Orders

*most orders ship in 24hrs

The Wide World of Pearls, Our 55th Issue: QUICK Akoya Pearl Grading Guide

 

Pearls of Joy Pearl Quote of the Week: "Fame is a pearl many dive for and only a few bring up. Even when they do, it is not perfect, and they sigh for more, and lose better things in struggling for them." -  Louisa May Alcott

 

 

Eye Candy

Pearl Eye Candy: Mikimoto Akoya Pearl Hello Kitty Collection

 

PURRING PEARLS

To celebrate Hello Kitty's 40th Anniversary, Sanrio, Hello Kitty's parent company contacted the famous Mikimoto Pearl Company to create this amazing Akoya pearl necklace. 

Composed of 12 strands of gleaming Akoya pearls, diamonds and rubies and onyx for Kitty's eyes, the extravagant necklace retailed for $275,000! 

Meow!! 

 

You Ask ...We Answer.

Akoya Pearl Grading Guide

 

Akoya Pearl Grading (Quick Guide)

Are you lost when it comes to deciding on which quality Akoya pearls you should get? AA+ or AAA? AAA or Hanadama??  

We know the grading issue can be a confusing one ... especially in light of the fact that there is no universally agreed on grading system. 

Pearls of Joy uses the A-AAA Grading System, with 'A' being the lowest pearl grade, and 'AAA' represents the highest grade. 

Pearls are graded according to 5 Value Factors (there are actually 7, but grading cultured pearls only requires 5 of them) which are:

  • Shape
  • Surface Quality
  • Luster
  • Matching
  • Nacre Thickness

 

What are Hanadama Pearls

Hanadama Quality Akoya Pearls

  • Shape: True Round, No Deviation from Perfectly Spherical Shape
  • Surface Quality: 95-99% Clean to the Eye. 1 Deep Inclusion Allowable for Full Strand.
  • Luster: Excellent / Mirror-Like. Detailed Reflections Visible in Surfaces
  • Matching: Near-Perfect to Perfect for Size, Shape, Body Color, Overtone, Surface Quality and Luster
  • Nacre Thickness: Minimum of 0.4mm Deep on Each Side of Pearl

'Hanadama' Akoya pearls are selected from all AAA grade lots, so technically, all Hanadama pearls are the highest quality 'AAA' Akoya that have been chosen for their particularly bright luster, thick nacre and fine colors. 

 

AAA Quality Akoya Pearls

 

AAA Quality Akoya Pearls

  • Shape: True Round, No Deviation from Perfectly Round Shape
  • Surface Quality: 95-99% Clean to the Eye. 1 Deep Inclusion Allowable for Full Strand.
  • Luster: Very High to Excellent / Mirror-Like. Mostly Detailed Reflections Visible in Surfaces
  • Matching: Near-Perfect to Perfect for Size, Shape, Body Color, Overtone, Surface Quality and Luster
  • Nacre Thickness: Visibly Thick, No Blinking

 

AA+ Quality Akoya Pearls

AA+ Quality Akoya Pearls

  • Shape: True Round, No Deviation from Perfectly Round Shape
  • Surface Quality: 90-95% Clean to the Eye. 2-3 Deep Inclusions Allowable for Full Strand.
  • Luster: Very High / Almost Mirror-Like. Slightly Detailed Reflections Visible in Surfaces
  • Matching: Near-Perfect to Perfect for Size, Shape, Body Color, Overtone, Surface Quality and Luster
  • Nacre Thickness: Visibly Thick, Very Little to No Blinking

The AA+, AAA and Hanadama Akoya Pearl grades are going to be the most common ones you'll come across when shopping for pearl jewelry online.

Lower grades are typically found at commercial chain brick and mortar stores (think Zales, etc.), and can be found online at eBay, Etsy, Amazon and any other outlet that deals with a wide range of jewels and vendors. It is always best to shop with a vendor that you can trust and has a generous return policy. 

Learn more about Akoya pearls: Akoya Pearl Buying Guide

 

Email Us A Question

 

 

Visit The World of Pearls Facebook Group

 

 

 

Weekly Video

 

 

 

Watch Pearls of Joy Customer Reviews

 

 

 

Featured Pearls

 Pearls of Joy Featured Pearls of the Week: Graduated Akoya Pearl Necklace

 

8-10mm Japanese Akoya White Pearl Necklace - AAA Quality

This Akoya pearl necklace is the epitome of grace and style. The classic graduation of the pearls stretches from 8-10mm in size, lending the necklace an iconic look. These AAA quality Japanese Akoya pearls are handpicked for their radiant luster, round shapes and clean surfaces. The pearls are strung and double-knotted with the finest silk thread.

  • Comes finished with a complimentary clasp of your choice.
  • Includes Certificate of Authenticity.

 

View Product Details

Sign Up for Instant Savings!

Get it Quick

Free 2-Day FedEx on all orders within the USA. Overnight delivery options start at $35.

Orders Ship Fast

Most orders ship within 1-2 business days, sometimes same day.

We Ship Worldwide

International shipping is affordable and fast. Most international packages arrive in 2-4 business days.

Worry Free Delivery

Your package is fully insured. If your order is lost or stolen before delivery, we got you covered.