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Freshwater Pearl Grading Scale?

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  • Freshwater Pearl Grading Scale?

    I'm fairly new to the group, but I remember reading a while ago that one of the expert members had made a pearl grading scale on his site. I thought it was quite helpful but I evidently didn't save the link. Could that person please post it again? And if there is a possibility of purchasing a board with a sample pearl of each grade, I would be interested. I work mainly with white Freshwater pearls, round to near round, and my preference is crème rose overtone.

    I also applaud the efforts of all of those members who are trying to come up with a standardized grading scale that could be used industry wide, because of the wide range of interpretations of grading that result in purchases not being up to my expectation, or in rare cases being above my expectation.

  • #2
    Really, there is no standardization of grading for pearls, freshwater or saltwater. Grading scales are made by individual sellers to reflect their own grading system --for example:

    https://www.pearlparadise.com/pages/...-pearl-grading
    https://www.pearlsofjoy.com/pages/pearl-grading

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    • #3
      Thanks Pearl Dreams. I am aware that there is no standard for Pearl grading. After searching around a bit, the post I was searching for was an old one by Bill from PearlsandJade, but the link to his website no longer works. He had proposed a standardized scale and produced a bead board with a pearl representing each grade, similar to what Jewelers have for Akoya Pearls, but for Freshwater Pearls. I had also read several posts before of some of the members wanting to start a push for standardization of grading scales for Freshwater Pearls and I thought that sounded like a good idea because the individual sellers creating their own grading scales is a mess and meaningless for the buyer.

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      • #4
        It's not meaningless for the buyer if the buyer can read, on the seller's web page, how they define their grades.

        If they don't define what AA+, AAA etc. mean, then yes, it's meaningless.

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        • #5
          Thanks again, Pearl Dreams. I'm also looking for help in grading the items I make when I get pearls from different vendors with different grading scales. I might get a AA grade strand from one vendor that isn't as good as a B+ grade strand from another. It leaves me trying to create my own scale. I have been looking at as many of the descriptions and photos as I can on here and also the comment from one person who said they keep a strand of A and a strand of AA for comparison, and I have done that also, kept one strand that met the strictest criteria for AA and another that met the strictest criteria for A and then compare what I get from other vendors to those. I guess, like others, I am looking for a standard that doesn't exist. Maybe the best thing is to use the scale that does exist for Akoya and adapt it to Freshwater Pearls like Pearl Paradise does.

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          • #6
            Freshwater pearl grading is possibly the most inconsistent across sources... At least with Akoya pearls there's an expectation that the pearls will be round, with FW pearls you'll often see AAA graded pearls that are dull and potato shaped.

            You may find this video helpful, it's a comparison of AA+, AAA & gem grade FW pearls.

            Kevin Canning
            Pearls Of Joy
            www.PearlsOfJoy.com
            Read My Blog
            FaceBook Fan Page
            1-800-451-1411

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            • #7
              Great video!

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              • #8
                Thanks, Kevin,I watched the video on your website last week. It was very helpful. I am getting a better understanding of how people who work with pearls grade the items they make with them, which is really what I wanted to get to. I have a few sources that I can depend on for consistent quality, but their grading and description systems are totally different from each other. I am selling a finished product, sterling silver wire wrapped and all sterling silver findings, so I am focused on the end product that I am selling and describing it accurately as possible, no matter which source the pearls come from. I appreciate everyone's comments and have found them very helpful.

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                • #9
                  Great video Kevin!!!

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