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Gold and Platinum Facts
Grading Pearls
Cultured Pearl Care and Cleaning
Tales and Legend of the Black Pearl
Proposal Ideas
Do's and Don'ts of Diamond Buying
Wedding Anniversary
Birth Stones
Jewelry Care
Jewelry Dictionary

Grading Pearls

In grading pearls one must examine the entire spectrum of quality characteristics the first is the Lustre, Surface, Shape, Color, and Size. Below is an example of pearl quality.

Lustre
Many experts believe that Akoya pearls have the highest luster of all cultured pearls and this has to do with their thick layered nacre coating. The Japanese waters where these pearls grow are considerably cooler than the warmer climates where other pearls are grown. The cool conditions cause Akoya pearls to develop their nacre coating slower with a more compact crystal structure (increasing reflective and refractive qualities).

Surface
Akoya pearls are typically clean and generally free of heavy blemishes. This is a result of their comparatively short cultivation time and the strict quality standards Japanese are subject to.

Shape
Akoya harvests produce a consistent quantity of round and near-round pearls. This is the largest percentage of this shape of all pearl types. Although the harvest still does produce a small amount of other shapes like baroques and semi-baroques.

Color
Akoya cultured pearls come in a range of colors from silvery/white to gold and even blue/grey.

Size
The Akoya shell is the smallest of all the pearl shells and rarely produces a 9mm or larger Pearl. Akoya pearls range in size from 1mm to 10mm more commonly 5mm to 8mm.

Go to www.pearls.com for more information on Akoya Pearls.