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Pearl Grading Resource

Pirard

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
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557
Wouldn't there be two drill holes on some gem grade pearls? If they are strung on a necklace vs. being set on a post? And a silly question, but would a pearl with lack-luster but free of blemishes be considered gem grade? And does shape impact "gem grade"? For instance, would an off round with no blemish (undrilled as well) great color and high luster be considered gem grade? I guess I'm asking because I've never really heard the term used in a way to describe pearls. Thanks...and apologies for the stupid questions!!
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
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A pearl lacking luster could never be considered to be gem grade.
 

Fly Girl

Ideal_Rock
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From the PP site:

•Gem Grade - Flawless pearl with excellent luster
•Pearl exhibits no inclusions or imperfections prior to setting or drilling

So, cmd2014 is technically correct about one flaw being AAA. And, I suppose if the two flaws are exactly opposite, you can get another "gem grade" after drilling through. How would you ever be able to tell after drilling?
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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The ones I have seen all have had high luster, strong overtones, and have been completely clean to the eye (possibly with blemishes hidden by the drill holes). But they aren't graded in the B&M store, so it's hard to know exactly what they would be considered grade wise. Even my off round rope from there has been high luster and blemish free. But the pricing reflects it too.

It has made me wonder if part of the price discount online is due to high volume/minimized overhead costs alone, or if a slightly lesser grade explains some of the variance (I.e AAA vs Gem Quality). If so, it wouldn't be a criticism. Most of us would choose to have a good quality VW rather than have to take the bus because we're unable to afford a Porsche. (Or buy an H SI1 diamond because an IF D is out of reach).

If only pearls could grow in such a way to have all the blemishing either hidden by the drill hole or pointed towards the knots!
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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Also, does anyone know why ripples have a smooth side and a rippled side? I noticed that about mine today.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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3,250
Fly Girl|1430883016|3872769 said:
From the PP site:

•Gem Grade - Flawless pearl with excellent luster
•Pearl exhibits no inclusions or imperfections prior to setting or drilling

So, cmd2014 is technically correct about one flaw being AAA. And, I suppose if the two flaws are exactly opposite, you can get another "gem grade" after drilling through. How would you ever be able to tell after drilling?
I've read before that if the pearl has a blemish that can be "hidden" by the drill point, some will also consider the pearl as gem grade assuming it meets the luster criteria etc.
 

Pirard

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 12, 2014
Messages
557
Thanks for clarifying...I am really intrigued by this thread...it is a wonderful conversation, and very informative!!!!

I've never noticed a smooth side vs a rippled side on my ripples (I have a few strands) so now I'm going to have to go inspect them! Could it be that your strand was matched that way?

And that brings me to another really stupid question...regarding matching of pearls...assuming they all have equal luster and surface, which is more important to match: shape or color (assuming you are not after a multi-color strand...in which case you would want luster and size proportioned, I assume)?
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
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Pirard|1430920134|3872934 said:
And that brings me to another really stupid question...regarding matching of pearls...assuming they all have equal luster and surface, which is more important to match: shape or color (assuming you are not after a multi-color strand...in which case you would want luster and size proportioned, I assume)?
Not stupid at all. I think both... Just a guess tho.

Btw got this off Paspaley:
The destiny of each pearl is in the hands of our highly accomplished pearl graders. Specialists in their field, they assess each pearl individually, meticulously scrutinizing each one by the ‘5 Virtues’: Lustre. Complexion. Shape. Colour. Size. It is a combination of these virtues that determines the worth of each pearl.

And...
Luster is unquestionably the most important characteristic of pearl quality. The depth and radiance of enduring lustre is a natural attribute without which a pearl is deemed of no value.

And...
On rare occasions nature produces a pearl of sublime, incomparable beauty, clearly distinguishable amongst other fine quality pearls. These unique gems are reserved for Paspaley’s finest strands and bespoke jewellery designs. Such is the rarity of these pearls that finding a perfect match can take many harvests; pearl connoisseurs claim that the world’s yearly supply can be held in one cupped hand.
 

cmd2014

Ideal_Rock
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Pirard|1430920134|3872934 said:
Thanks for clarifying...I am really intrigued by this thread...it is a wonderful conversation, and very informative!!!!

I've never noticed a smooth side vs a rippled side on my ripples (I have a few strands) so now I'm going to have to go inspect them! Could it be that your strand was matched that way?

And that brings me to another really stupid question...regarding matching of pearls...assuming they all have equal luster and surface, which is more important to match: shape or color (assuming you are not after a multi-color strand...in which case you would want luster and size proportioned, I assume)?

Yeah, it's weird. Every single one on my strand has a smooth side which is rounded, and a ripply side that is a bit more flat, and they are drilled so that the smoother side can be worn out if you want to spin each pearl around so that the best side is facing front (which is a bit too OCD for even me). I wasn't sure if it was something to do with how they grow, or if it was coincidence....

As for matching, I suspect it depends on what you want the strand to look like. A uniform toned strand with different shapes vs. a multi-toned strand with uniform shapes. With baroques you often see both.
 

Frost Me

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2010
Messages
617
Pirard|1430881005|3872757 said:
And does shape impact "gem grade"? For instance, would an off round with no blemish (undrilled as well) great color and high luster be considered gem grade?
Pirard, that is a very good question you asked? I am interested also to know can near round, drop shape and ovals could be considered Gem grade. In my past experience, I have purchased drop shape pearls that were very pricy and were held back in a special drawer due to the pearls being really special. I would consider them Gem grade due to their mirror luster and no blemishing. I may be incorrect though.

What about earrings? What would be the difference in AAA earring grade and Gem grade earrings?
 

Ella

Brilliant_Rock
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We have stickied this thread at the request of users in this forum, but please remember that we do not allow linking or lifting content from other blogs or jewelry websites. Links that violate our ToS have been removed.
 

ckrickett

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Ella|1431232353|3874704 said:
We have stickied this thread at the request of users in this forum, but please remember that we do not allow linking or lifting content from other blogs or jewelry websites. Links that violate our ToS have been removed.

Thank you Ella
 

yellowdiamond123

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Messages
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can you try and grade this one and how much do you think it cost? it's a mikimoto Pearl earrings and pendant set it's silver

pearl_earrings_and_pendant.jpg
 

Victor Ang

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
2
Hello again Pearl lovers! Another question that I have in mind and I want to hear more on a personal based experience and not via Google - what is the quality grading of the pearls? In like a beginner level, if that makes sense.
 

pearlsngems

Brilliant_Rock
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There is no standardized grading of pearls, as there are too many factors to consider. Each vendor sets their own standard for what each grade means.

The most commonly used grading system is A-AAA with AAA being the best, or in the case of south sea pearls you may see A-D, where A is the best.
 
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