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  • Hanadama

    I've noticed the term Hanadama mentioned several times on this forum, and a few companies are selling these online. Can someone explain all the ins and outs of what a Hanadama pearl is, who determines when a pearl is considered a Hanadama pearl, etc...

    Also, has the term evolved over time? I've seen this term used for more than one type of pearl, though I thought at first it was reserved just for Akoya pearls.

  • #2
    Hi Janet,

    I'll be following your thread with interest because the term hanadama has cropped up in answers to my posting (Consumer Pearls Q & A: Deciding on a new necklace) and I'm sure you will get a lot of answers from the specialist members.

    I saw some information about hanadama grade pearls on www.hanadama.com as well as on www.americanpearl.com and I know that Pearl Paradise and several other companies whose representatives contribute regularly to the Pearl-Guide forums sell hanadama necklaces - at least occasionally.

    The hanadama certification seems to be a guarantee of top quality equal to Mikimoto AAA and considerably higher than most other AAA graded Akoyas.


    • #3
      AAA: AAA quality pearls are 95% inclusion free. This means that only 5% of the surface area will have a mark, blemish, pinpoint or some type of imperfection. The luster of the pearl is mirror like with a very thick layering of nacre.

      Hanadama: The literal translation is "spherical flower" and they are sometimes they are referred to as "Flower Pearls". This term is used to describe the absolute best pearl available. Hanadama grade pearls have a surface that is free of all marks, blemishes or other imperfections. They have the highest luster available on a pearl and they have the thickest layering of nacre. They are the absolute best Akoya pearl available. Hanadama pearls are more expensive because you are dealing with approximately the top 1% of the harvest. AAA grade pearls represent the top 3% - 5% of the harvest.

      Make no mistake, AAA quality pearls are far superior that what you will find in most of your local jewelry stores, but Hanadama grade pearls are the best available - period.


      • #4
        The Hanadama certificate can only be produced by a lab in Japan. We personally use the Pearl Science Laboratory in Tokyo (sinjuken.co.jp).
        The pearls are examined by the following methods:

        Inner Inspection by Optical Fiber
        Spectro Photometric Reflectance
        Soft X-ray

        The thickness of the pearl layers are measured. Although it is stated on another well-known Site that the thickness must measure .6 on either side for a total of 1.2, the actual requirement is .4 for a total of .8. (this is determined by the optical fiber and soft X-ray apparatus).

        The Teri-value (luster) must be strong.
        The kizu (imperfection) must be listed as very slightly. It is important to note that 'very slightly' is the highest allowable 'kizu' grade by the lab.

        If the factors are all graded high, the strand receives the grade 'Hanadama' by the lab. This is a term reserved for the highest quality Akoya pearl strands. The term is only reserved for Akoya pearls. Hanadama is the grade of pearl that Mikimoto carries for their highest quality line.

        Hanadama strands are difficult to carry in large quantity. We currently only have approximately 20 strands with Hanadama certificates in stock. The range in size from 7.5-8mm up to 8.5-9mm. So far this year we have not received any Hanadama strands larger than 9mm. We had about a half dozen last year, however.
        Last edited by jshepherd; 03-20-2006, 06:03 PM.
        Jeremy Shepherd
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        PearlParadise.com, Inc.
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        • #5
          Hanadama Quality Pearls


          Here is a link to a Hanadama certificate. If you're looking for independently guaranteed quality, I'd recommend buying a Hanadama strand. They don't get much better than this.

          Note that this certificate is fairly high res so don't download it if you don't have a high-speed connection.

          Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions on Hanadama quality or if you'd like to order a Hanadama strand.



          • #6
            Hanadama Sales

            Hanadama strands are becoming increasingly popular! In the last month, we have had an influx of sales for these. I'm not sure what has been pulling the additional interest, but my clients ask for the best and have been ecstatic about the Hanadama pearls.

            Because they are so rare, they are difficult to keep in stock! With the Japanese lab's stringent grading standards, very few strands from each harvest are deemed worthy of Hanadama status.


            • #7

              I think the interest in Hanadama certified pearls is being fueled by the lack of true independent quality testing for Akoya pearls. This certification "levels the playing field". You won't have any knock-off sites selling lower quality pearls as Hanadama certified since the certification can be checked with the certifying lab.

              Now, just for the fun of it, here are a few recent pictures of a Hanadama strands. A picture is worth a thousand words (NOTE: These are copyrighted by us, so do not copy, modify, or use):


              Large View

              Very Large View


              • #8

                Those pictures are Scrumptious!!!! Thank you for sharing them.


                • #9
                  Yes, I do believe that is definitely a significant factor. As for the knock-off sites, we only hope that they do not try something crazy. There are dishonest people out there.


                  • #10
                    Hi everyone,
                    I'm new but have enjoyed this forum enormously for some time.

                    As a consumer, and one who is searching for a hanadama strand, I'd like to point out another reason for the increasing interest in hanadama pearls. When compared to other options (like diamonds, sapphires, rubies, etc.), hanadama pearls seem rather reasonable in price!

                    I did a search on the internet for a one carat, D color, internally flawless, beautifully cut diamond. Prices from some of the best and most reputable on-line dealers ranged from around $14,500-$18,000. That's for a one carat diamond that measures around 6.5 mm and isn't even set. So, for a fraction of the cost of a one carat diamond, you can get a stunning, top-of-the-line pearl necklace. In comparison, the diamond looks rather tiny. I'd rather spend my money on jewelry that will have more of an impact and high-quality pearls fit the bill quite nicely.


                    • #11
                      Are there any real handamas? Is the standard for handama what it used to be? I have read what is now called handama would not have been a number of years ago. Just wondering.


                      • #12
                        Real hanadama?

                        Hi Pearltime,

                        That sounds like a contradiction in terms. If they were real top grade good size natural pearls the term is dana abiyadh. In collectors' world, modern pearl treatments that bring about latter-day hanadama have their own verb, it's called "a verb I am not allowed to use on this forum but one that combines the first two syllables of a famous akoya manufacturer's brand name with the common name of a small rodent". That is already a step up from dressing up overtreated humdrum pearls with big diamond clasps and fancy-schmancy boxes which is called to mabelswine.

                        Last edited by Zeide Erskine; 09-07-2006, 03:35 AM.


                        • #13
                          I read an article on the subject not too long ago. If I ever find it , I'll post a link.


                          • #14
                            An International Standard

                            In most industries, international standards exist which help protect the integrity of products or services provided within that industry. While Japanese Hanadama certification is a step in the write direction, it would be most helpful for the industry as a whole to standardize the various grades of pearl quality in order to level the playing field for all competitors. Reputable sellers do their best to ensure that they are providing the best possible quality, but absent an international standard that is rigorously observed, it is impossible to ensure that a AAA Akoya from company X will be of equal quality to an AAA Akoya from company Y and Z. If an international standard could be established, it would also be important for each pearl dealer to help educate the consuming public so that customers could uphold a consistent standard among their community when evaluating various pearl suppliers. Until that occurs, it is up to each of us who deal in pearls to maintain the highest possible standards in order to ensure the overall integrity of the industry.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jshepherd
                              Although it is stated on another well-known Site that the thickness must measure .6 on either side for a total of 1.2, the actual requirement is .4 for a total of .8.
                              As the cream of the crop, I'm curious as to how long this these Hanadamas would last before showing any wear? Would one get at least 10 yrs of daily wear out of them? My neighbour has her heart set on Akoyas, but they will be worn daily, almost as a uniform, to work.
                              What should she expect from this quality?