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