Pearl Classic's Grading System

At Pearlclassic.com, our grades of cultured pearls combine pearl value factors of shape, surface, luster, nacre and matching.

Grade Shape Surface Luster Nacre Matching
A Near round to semi-round Medium Medium to low Medium to thin Good
AA Round to near round Very Light to light High to Medium Thick to medium Very good
AAA Round to near round Clean Very High Thick Excellent

 

About Our Grades of Cultured Pearls

Our handy pearl grading system allows you to quickly identify among the array of choice for our cultural pearls featured on Pearl Classic. Grades of cultured pearls are based on five value factors, which include: Shape, Surface, Luster, Nacre, and its Matching qualities. The higher grades of cultured pearls given, the higher in quality that particular piece of jewelry is. A pearl’s worth depends on how it combines the complete mix of value factors.

The Shape

Round, Near-round, Oval, Button, Drop , Baroque and Semi-baroque are the seven standard pearl shapes. Generally, rarity and tradition make Round and Near-round pearl the most valuable and desirable shapes. The closer to a perfect sphere, the higher grade it is.

The Surface 

Surface quality is the condition of the pearl’s surface. Consider the size, number, location, visibility and type of surface characteristics present. Is the surface clear, or does it have some slight flaws in it? The clearer it appears the higher the grade given. 

The Luster 

The Luster of the pearl refers to its ability to retract and reflect light from its translucent layers. Look for the reflections of the light on the surface of pearls. Judge the luster by the brightness and sharpness of the reflected light. The brightness and sharpness of reflections it is. The higher grade will receive. 

The Nacre 

Nacre quality is determined by its thickness and layering, also related to durability and luster. Nucleus not noticeable, no chalky appearance is acceptable and high grade quality nacre. 

The Match 

Matching describes the uniformity of pearls in jewelry. Judge the consistency of size, shape, color, luster surface quality and nacre quality among the pearls. Within the particular strand of pearl jewelry you are looking at, you will want to know if the pearls match each other as best as possible. If the pearls match each other pretty well in terms of all of the other qualities put together and appearance, then you should have a very nice set of pearl jewelry in your hands. 

Knowing these different grades of cultured pearls allows you to select pearl jewelry that is high in quality and authentic. It allows you to determine if you are investing in a true piece of jewelry that is worth it all in the end.