When it comes to buying pearls, every one is looking for quality but quality in general comes with a price. First of all, it is important to know what quality is? There are four types of pearls such as freshwater pearls, akoya pearls or akoya seawater pearls; Tahitian pearls and South sea pearls and each of these types have different quality grades.
When pearls are finally taken out of oysters at their final growth stage, they are hand-sorted according to size, shape and the surface quality. Normally bigger the size, higher is the price, round shape command higher value than off round or potato shapes. Similarly surface of any pearl is noticed for its blemishes and spots. Very clean and without any blemishes, of course weight high in quality grading. Finally comes the nacre (the iridescent internal layer of a mollusk shell) and the luster. Thicker the nacre and high in luster, pearls typically valued high in value. Luster is the hallmark of any pearl type, as no woman would like to wear dull luster quality pearls. No matter if it is Japanese akoya pearls or Tahitian and South sea pearls, luster is the king here.
Although there is no institution or authority or organization who have laid any set standard of pearl grading but on the whole pearl jewelry industry over many years have been using pearl grading from A to AAA. Many jewelers or online stores claim to offer AAAA quality pearls, which are simply false. It is an advertisement trick to woo customers in making them believe that they are buying highest quality pearls, whereas in fact they may be getting lower quality pearls and paying higher price.
The most commonly used and internationally recognized grading system by the pearl jewelry industry in general is A to AAA to determine the true pearl value. In the early 20th Century, Kokichi Mikimoto of Japan had more or less led these grading standards. Strict adherence is often difficult when matching in a pearl strand. But this alphanumeric ranking alone does not have much of significance to a customer and often puzzling, as most importantly, one should look for clean surface, good lustrous quality and color. Identify the type of pearls you are interested in, such as Freshwater pearls, Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls or South Sea pearls as each of these types come from different type of oysters family and are grown under varying climatic conditions and command different prices.
Buying high grade quality pearl jewelry no matter which type of pearls, gets your money's worth manifold overtime.
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