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“Regular” vs “Top grade” hanadama vs Tennyo

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  • “Regular” vs “Top grade” hanadama vs Tennyo

    Hi all,

    I’ve been ambling around tokyo’s Jewelry district today and saw a lot of strands certified as hanadama. There seemed to be quite a difference in quality, as pointed out on purepearl’s article, there can be. I also saw quite a lot of tennyo and those seemed to be a lot more consistent - consistently better than most of the hanadama I saw.

    There is another thread on this forum saying that tennyo is basically hanadama and scoring 90 out of 100 for Teri analysis, but it seems like the strands really just do look better than the average hanadama.

    All the trusted sellers of this platform state that they use “top grade” hanadama - PP elaborates that they use only koshimono - but they don’t seem to send their pearls for the tennyo grading.

    So, for anyone who might own “regular” hanadama and PP/ other trusted seller hanadama, is there a noticeable difference?
    Would the “Top grade” hanadama basically be comparable to Tennyo?
    Just trying to get an idea of what’s the actual quality on offer is.

    Sorry for the lack of pictures, some shops are very strict about this.

    OTOH, I took a picture of this shop window of a “wholesaler”. I couldn’t go in - some wholesaler shops have notices in English explicitly saying keep out if you’re not a wholesaler. They had quite a few tennyo strands on display and they looked really good. They also looked really cheap compared to the tennyo prices posted in other threads,

  • #2


    Couldn’t upload the picture in the original post, here it is

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    • #3
      Hi pearlbop - There is more information in this thread.


      https://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/sh...55-Tenjo-Grade

      Comment


      • #4
        I have natural white and pinked Hanadamas from PP. I also have AA earrings from Mikimoto. The earring pearls look equivalent to my eyes, and earring pearls are usually better than necklace pearls.

        Comment


        • #5
          Somewhere I have a picture of a close ups & selection 7, 7.5-8mm AA (and the former AA+) Mikimotos...let me see if I can find it. (I might've deleted it by now).
          “No,” Midge said, “I take it back. I wouldn’t get a mink coat the first thing. Know what I’d do? I’d get a string of pearls. Real pearls.” Yes,” Annabel said, slowly. “I think that’s a kind of a good idea. And it would make sense, too. Because you can wear pearls with anything.”

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          • #6
            Hi pearlbop,
            The photo in post #2 is not visible. Try resizing it smaller and post again.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Pearlbop,


              Were you in okachimachi area?
              I also bought pearls in Tokyo just last month and thought there must be different levels or grades within Hanadama as there were pirce difference even within the same size Hanadama studs. And of course, there was tennyo pearls just sitting beautifully next to them..

              Please share some of the stores if you remember them. I'm dying to get tennyo studs next time in tokyo and the shop I purchased last time only sells them in necklace+ studs sets and I can't affod those..

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BWeaves View Post
                I have natural white and pinked Hanadamas from PP. I also have AA earrings from Mikimoto. The earring pearls look equivalent to my eyes, and earring pearls are usually better than necklace pearls.
                Thanks for the comparison! Very helpful

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BlackPearlDudeDC View Post
                  Somewhere I have a picture of a close ups & selection 7, 7.5-8mm AA (and the former AA+) Mikimotos...let me see if I can find it. (I might've deleted it by now).
                  Thanks! Hope you can find it too! I actually have one of the lower mikimoto grades, think it’s A, and I also popped by their huge multi level Ginza store, so this would be useful!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
                    Hi pearlbop,
                    The photo in post #2 is not visible. Try resizing it smaller and post again.
                    Oops apologies! I’ll try posting again later (posting from mobile so might not be doing this right)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Seoulite,

                      Yes I was there! It’s such an interesting place! May I know which shop you bought yours from eventually? I did see your thread but not sure if you mentioned the name. I’m thinking of buying a hanadama set from GOSHO as it’s within my price range for hanadama - prob not top grade though. Unfortunately the salesperson wouldn’t allow any photos.

                      On Tennyo, i saw a shop selling to wholesalers only displaying some tennyo strands in their window and I felt that those were nicer than any of the retail ones I saw.... must get the photo I took to upload somehow. The other strands I saw mostly had pricing similar to what was in your post though

                      I’m probably going back tomorrow, so will see if I can get any pictures

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pearlbop View Post
                        Oops apologies! I’ll try posting again later (posting from mobile so might not be doing this right)
                        When posting from a mobile device you still have to use the desktop version of Pearl Guide to post photos.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pearlbop View Post
                          Hi Seoulite,

                          Yes I was there! It’s such an interesting place! May I know which shop you bought yours from eventually? I did see your thread but not sure if you mentioned the name. I’m thinking of buying a hanadama set from GOSHO as it’s within my price range for hanadama - prob not top grade though. Unfortunately the salesperson wouldn’t allow any photos.

                          On Tennyo, i saw a shop selling to wholesalers only displaying some tennyo strands in their window and I felt that those were nicer than any of the retail ones I saw.... must get the photo I took to upload somehow. The other strands I saw mostly had pricing similar to what was in your post though

                          I’m probably going back tomorrow, so will see if I can get any pictures
                          I bought at Pearl Seiwa but I would have looked around more if I had the time...
                          I was also thinking of going to these two places in ginza and one in roppongi as well.

                          株式会社WSP 真珠の卸屋さん (copy & paste in google map)
                          東京真珠株式会社
                          and yonamine pearls in roppongi.

                          decouverte (in omotesando) is a shop selling vintage hermes or chanel but they were also selling tennyo pearls.

                          Let me know how your shopping goes!!! so fun

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The Tenyo hanadama grade has been trending in Asia for a couple of years. You don't see it in the US because it was introduced for the Asian market. You see lots of strands with tenyo certification at the shows and they are trying to replace hanadama with Tenyo.

                            It was explained to me that there were so many subpar strands of hanadama that has made it through certification, the lab decided to create a new "hanadama" certificate called tenyo, which is basically their way of saying, "not all hanadama are hanadama, but these really are."

                            When it came out, all true hanadama, which is top-graded hanadama, could be tenyo graded as well. But there were (and still are) a lot of low-range hanadama that should not have been certified hanadama in the first place. This became a big issue in Japan because these low-grade strands with certificates are sold widely including on television shopping channels.

                            The reasons I didn't move into the new certificate are that it's the same thing, and I knew nobody in the US would know what the grade is or what it means. It's trending in Asia, but mainly because it's being locally promoted in China and now in Japan too. Also, I doubted the "new" hanadama would last and we are already seeing vendors at the show offering discount "tenyo" strands with certificates that are not in the same quality range. They just have the certificates.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jshepherd View Post
                              The Tenyo hanadama grade has been trending in Asia for a couple of years. You don't see it in the US because it was introduced for the Asian market. You see lots of strands with tenyo certification at the shows and they are trying to replace hanadama with Tenyo.

                              It was explained to me that there were so many subpar strands of hanadama that has made it through certification, the lab decided to create a new "hanadama" certificate called tenyo, which is basically their way of saying, "not all hanadama are hanadama, but these really are."

                              When it came out, all true hanadama, which is top-graded hanadama, could be tenyo graded as well. But there were (and still are) a lot of low-range hanadama that should not have been certified hanadama in the first place. This became a big issue in Japan because these low-grade strands with certificates are sold widely including on television shopping channels.

                              The reasons I didn't move into the new certificate are that it's the same thing, and I knew nobody in the US would know what the grade is or what it means. It's trending in Asia, but mainly because it's being locally promoted in China and now in Japan too. Also, I doubted the "new" hanadama would last and we are already seeing vendors at the show offering discount "tenyo" strands with certificates that are not in the same quality range. They just have the certificates.
                              Very interesting...I one thing comes immediately to mind: trust your eyes more than a certificate. That said, why on earth would the lab give sub-par strands hanadama status? Doesn't it just serve to devalue the certification process (or more directly, the lab doing the grading/certification)?
                              http://www.oceanscovejewelry.com
                              Instagram: Ocean's Cove

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