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Grandpearl certification by PEPCA

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  • CortezPearls
    replied
    This is truly interesting CoffeyCat
    And grading/matching is usually done this way everywhere...visual appraisal, especially if the pearls seem clean and lustrous. You compare a given strand (a Hanadama, for example) to the one you believe is "superior" and if it catches your fancy: Sure, why not?
    We do have the Value Appraisal System that is not standardized of course, but this is why I trust the Japanese Pearl Lab for the Hanadama certificate: they are a specialized pearl lab.
    So, my guess was good
    And thank you for joining us here at the forum...this has been educational and fun. Hope you will stick around for more!

    Leave a comment:


  • coffeycat
    replied
    Hello Douglas,

    This is what I saw on one of the Rakuten seller's webpage in regard to number of Akoya pearls that achieved Grandpearl or Superpearl certifications by PECCA, last updated in 2016. I have also spoken to some other sellers that handles Grandpearls and they confirm it is still around 200 certifications/year, the majority of these Grandpearls go to the Chinese market.

    The process of selecting Grandpearl is more or less like a 'beauty pageant' and the judgers are Directors/Executives from major pearl companies in Japan. Judging criterias covers all aspects of the pearls but the inspection is done by visual method ONLY. It is therefore a very subjective process and leniencies were given to companies who did not 'qualified' for a few years in a row.

    It is an interesting certification but I too would not pay for the tag. Hope this is something useful to be added to your 'nacre'base.

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  • CortezPearls
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • rokor
    replied
    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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  • coffeycat
    replied
    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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  • BWeaves
    replied
    Both strands are gorgeous, but the Grandpearl, is well, grand!

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  • CortezPearls
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:


  • coffeycat
    replied
    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.

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  • pattye
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • CortezPearls
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • coffeycat
    replied
    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!

    Leave a comment:


  • Pareltje
    replied
    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".

    Leave a comment:


  • CortezPearls
    replied
    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"???

    Leave a comment:


  • coffeycat
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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