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  • Grandpearl certification by PEPCA

    Hello Everyone,

    I am currently doing the Pearl As One course and have left a comment about a type of pearl certification called 'Grandpearl' issues by PEPCA, Japan.

    This is their website: http://www.japan-pearl.jp/

    Jeremy has left a reply (but I could not find it later on) that he has never heard of PEPCA, or Grandpearl.

    Based on their website information, this organisation was established in 1950 and included over 110 small to medium size pearl businesses. Directors of this organisation include key personnel from brands like Mikimoto and TASAKI.

    Their 'Grandpearl' strands or loose pearls are very pricy, but I have noticed their inspection method was listed as 'visual inspection' (based on Google Translate) by 4 or more Directors.

    Has anyone heard of PEPCA and this certificate? If so are they credible? Your input is greatly appreciated.

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  • #2
    It seems like they just faded away after 2016 ~ very interesting. Wondering if the pearls are given a letter grade, or if Granpearl is roughly equivalent to Hanadama?
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pattye View Post
      It seems like they just faded away after 2016 ~ very interesting. Wondering if the pearls are given a letter grade, or if Granpearl is roughly equivalent to Hanadama?
      That's indeed very interesting, Pattye. As far as I know there are still many such 'Grandpearl' strands being sold today. Sellers have been advertising them as 'the best' and much better than Hanadama.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello CoffeyCat
        And welcome to our forum!
        It was not Jeremy that gave you the answer, but me...I'm serving as the PaO's Pearl Instructor since October 2020.

        And you have done your homework...congratulations! One of the great things about working with gems is this "gem sleuthing" and research.
        So, again...I had never heard of the brand nor this certificate, but that should not be all that uncommon...some distributors have different markets to address and will employ different tools to reach them, most of this boiling down to mere marketing differences.

        Some of our forum members specialize in Akoya pearls and I'm hoping they will join in to offer some advice and direction on this subject.

        Even so, I stand to attention that it seems that "Granpearl" issues its own certificates, whereas the "Hanadama" label is issued by an independent Pearl Lab, so I still would trust the latter. But I would like to call on other forum members to join in on this thread...what do you think? Have you heard off or own "Granpearls"???
        Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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        • #5
          I've heard the term "collection quality", the term coined by American Pearl, this refers to the supposedly best akoya pearls that are available. They claim that their collection quality is better than Hanadama.
          I haven't heard of "Granpearls".

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by CortezPearls View Post
            Hello CoffeyCat
            And welcome to our forum!
            It was not Jeremy that gave you the answer, but me...I'm serving as the PaO's Pearl Instructor since October 2020.

            And you have done your homework...congratulations! One of the great things about working with gems is this "gem sleuthing" and research.
            So, again...I had never heard of the brand nor this certificate, but that should not be all that uncommon...some distributors have different markets to address and will employ different tools to reach them, most of this boiling down to mere marketing differences.

            Some of our forum members specialize in Akoya pearls and I'm hoping they will join in to offer some advice and direction on this subject.

            Even so, I stand to attention that it seems that "Granpearl" issues its own certificates, whereas the "Hanadama" label is issued by an independent Pearl Lab, so I still would trust the latter. But I would like to call on other forum members to join in on this thread...what do you think? Have you heard off or own "Granpearls"???
            Hello Douglas, thank you for taking time answering my questions on PaO (I am Cindy). Going through the comments section and reading your/Jeremy's replies provided so much more insights into each topic.

            My search for answers in relation to the Grandpearl started with a conversation I had online about maeshori treatment and white south sea pearls. There was this one seller claimed that since Grandpearl was 'the best of the best', certified WSSP is therefore un-enhanced. I am very skeptical about this reply from the seller, since I could not find any reference to treatment and enhancement from their official website. As you have pointed out, they certify their own members' pearls. This process certainly decreases the level of objectively (while pearl evaluation is very subjective to begin with), and could be a marketing tool to meet certain demand.

            Thanks again for your help, and I plan to take my exam soon!

            Comment


            • #7
              Hello again Cindy
              To my knowledge...ALL Akoya pearls are treated. Maybe a few are "cherry picked" by the farmers (maybe not!) but never enough to produce a single pearl strand I believe.
              And just like Pareltje mentioned, other companies, associations, groups, etc., may have their own grading system and even their own certificates. They may even achieve a higher grade than Hanadama (why not!) but this all boils down to a "matter of trust" (Billy Joel singing in my brain now) and if you do have the possibility of actually comparing that particular company's necklace to a Hanadama and being able TO SEE the difference, then it is a perfect moment.
              If I could not SEE the difference (positive, of course) and there was a higher price I would definitively not invest my money and I would stick to the true and tried.
              Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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              Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by coffeycat View Post
                That's indeed very interesting, Pattye. As far as I know there are still many such 'Grandpearl' strands being sold today. Sellers have been advertising them as 'the best' and much better than Hanadama.
                The reason for my remark about PEPCA "fading away" was because 2016 seems to be the last entry on their website. Wouldn't it be fun to do a comparison??!! Hanadama vs Granpearl
                Pattye


                PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

                facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

                SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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                • #9
                  Hi Pattye, I have managed to find these photos comparing Granpearl vs Tennyo from two different sellers:

                  Picture No. 1: Tennyo on the left, Grandpearl on the right.

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                  Picture No.2: Tennyo outside, Grandpearl inside.

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                  I guess there are variations within the grade so the comparison could be entirely subjective as well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Absolutely fascinating! Just imagining what the price difference could be? Thank you so much for finding the comparison photos.
                    Pattye


                    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

                    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

                    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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                    • #11
                      Good photo comparison CoffeyCat. Although by being larger (in pearl diameter) the Granpearl necklace is already winning.
                      But it looks quite Hanadama to me. Fine quality.

                      The second photo is trickier...both necklaces look great and equal to me. Probably the first photo was under a more direct light source?

                      Would love to see a Hanadama and Granpearl direct comparison with all factors equal (pearl size, necklace lenght, etc) and a price comparison too.
                      Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
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                      Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
                      Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

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                      • #12
                        Both strands are gorgeous, but the Grandpearl, is well, grand!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Douglas, I managed to find these two 8.0-8.5 strands from same seller:

                          Aurora Hanadam 8.0-8.5 42cm strand with certificate. Price: 149,000 JPY, or around $1,394.54 USD

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                          Grandpearl 8.0-8.5 42cm strand with certificate. Price: 598,000 JPY, or around $5,596.89 USD

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                          Sorry no comparison photo (if the difference is not that big, sellers probably don't want to do a direct comparison!), but the price difference is obvious...

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                          • #14
                            I came across this certification when doing research on my WSSP strand a few months ago. I believe the fact there there is so little real information about this certification floating around is that there are so few pearls and strands that get to achieve the level required to meet the standard. I don't remember the exact number, but it's something like 100-150 necklaces achieved the PEPCA certificate in a span of 8 years, and this includes everything from Akoya to South Sea to Tahitian and possibly even fresh water, they don't discriminate. I'd be curious to know if they take into account the origin or type of pearl when examining them of if they just use a single frame of reference between all of them. That would make finding a fresh water variant extremely difficult in comparison to an Akoya strand if there was a single set of standards to be achieved.

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                            • #15
                              Excellent CoffeyCat! This is just what we all needed...a direct comparison between Hanadama and PEPCA.
                              And still, just by looking at the photos I really can't see much of a difference between them except for the 2 most obvious:
                              1) the price tag and
                              2) their overtones (one is Rosť, the other one silvery-blue)

                              Matching and luster are great on both. I would not pay the tag on the PEPCA if it just comes to it, but perhaps on a hands-on inspection you can SEE things we cannot just by looking at photos.

                              Rokor: Thank you for your info share...where did you find this info? Would love to see it to "integrate" it into my knowledge base. As a "Pearl Teacher" (but never the "Pearl Professor") I do need to have as much information as possible at my fingertips. I have found very little information...most has been already shared here. Thanks!
                              Douglas McLaurin-Moreno
                              Follow Me!
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                              Your Life evolves in the same way a Pearl grows: with continuous layers of experiences/nacre that add to the Story of your Life on Earth and make you Unique and Beautiful.
                              Douglas McLaurin-Moreno

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