Industry Adopted Grading Systems
As with any item that comes in the wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and quality that pearls do, a standard grading system is needed to ensure that you, the customer, will clearly understand the quality that you are purchasing. This is usually accomplished by the use of a system that is mutually agreed upon by the customer, the seller and the industry as a whole. Unfortunate the pearl industry has not adopted a universal, accepted standard of grading. In many instances the grading system that is used depends on the where the pearls are purchased.
Thankfully over time,
one grading system has been adopted by most reputable jewelers, distributors and
sellers. This is commonly referred to as the AAA grading system. We want our
customer to make the most informed decision possible when choosing their pearls.
With our customers' education in mind, we grade our pearls using this internationally recognized grading scale.
- AAA: The pearls in the AAA category represent the highest quality pearl
available. These pearls are extremely lustrous and sparkling. The surface of
the pearl is extremely clean with only 5% or less of the surface will have a
blemish or defect. The pearls in the AAA grade are matched from pearl to
pearl in all areas.
- AA: The shape of the AA pearls will have good roundness. The surfaces of the pearls are clean without any significant imperfections. Only 25% of the
surface area will have blemishing.
- A: The A grade pearls is the lowest jewelry-grade pearl available. The
luster is lower and more than 25% of the surface area will have blemishing.
As you can see, these categories can be quite broad. For this reason we also
break down this AAA scale even further to include A+ and AA+ for pearls that do
not fall into either of those three categories. To learn more about our grading
systems please visit one of the pages below:
Tips On Comparing Quality
Here are some tips when comparing quality and grading standards for pearls:
If you are comparing our pearls to another Internet Store and they are using A- AAAA quality grading, in all likelihood they are not the same as the grading we use at Pearls by Angela Carol.
When comparing pearl quality, look for clear and specific pearl quality definitions (such as what we provide you at
Pearls by Angela Carol) and avoid generic quality discussions. Without clearly defined grades you simply cannot know what quality you are buying.
Always look for clear definitions of grades to be your guide in comparing quality from store to store. One stores AAA quality could be equivalent to AA or AA+ quality at Pearls by Angela Carol - do compare carefully.
Reputable vendors will ALWAYS clearly post grade definitions and will provide you with detailed product information for each item they carry. At Pearls by Angela Carol we have a Product Specification Box on each of our detailed pages so that you are sure of the quality, size, surface, luster and shape before you purchase.