View Poll Results: Which is the "AAA" strand?

Voters
20. You may not vote on this poll
  • Strand "1" [leftmost strand]

    0 0%
  • Strand "2"

    7 35.00%
  • Strand "3"

    2 10.00%
  • Strand "4" [rightmost strand]

    11 55.00%
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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Andrew M's Avatar
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    Default Mikimoto Grade Comparison -- Take a guess!

    Hi Pearl Guide friends.

    I hope this special image that I have here will be of use to some folks here -- Here, in this photo originally from Mikimoto, I have 4 strands of 7.5mm-8mm Akoya pearls from Mikimoto, side-by-side in the four offered grades: A, A+, AA, AAA. Since I was genuinely inquiring to Mikimoto, I've blurred the tags so as to not reveal the grading or price.

    Here's the catch though -- none of these grades are in order.

    I pride myself on having quite the sharp eye, but even I have a really, really tough time -- almost impossible -- differentiating between the grades in the original photo.

    So, take a guess at the grades for each photo -- 1, 2, 3, & 4 -- and after some time I'll reveal the answer! Also, hope this sparks some really great discussion on pearl grading. Again, your options from lowest to highest grades are A, A+, AA, AAA

    Tried to make the image as high quality as possible so people can zoom in a little bit and check things out.

    But, without further ado, have at it! --

    Name:  ComparisonMMgrades.jpg
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    And here they are separately so you can see a little more closely:

    Name:  MM1.jpg
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    Name:  MM2.jpg
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    Name:  MM3.jpg
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    Name:  MM4.jpg
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    - Andrew

  2. #2
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Simply adorned's Avatar
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    Default

    Wow! You haven’t made this easy at all Andrew!
    They all look like top quality strands, so I’ll just throw out some guesses to get the “pearl” rolling...
    #2 AAA, #3 AA+, #1 AA and #4 A
    Last edited by Simply adorned; 01-08-2019 at 10:19 AM.

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Andrew M's Avatar
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    Default

    Cool! Thanks for the reply -- and, actually, I think the fact that it is so difficult is testament to any pearls that aren't junk look pretty great.

    I'll be sure to post all the good details when as many people as want to vote.

    Just for grins, though -- the two that are the biggest difference -- since we are considering Mikimoto the A vs. the AAA are about $14,000 difference. And FWIW, I don't think I see that much difference in any of these photos.

    (and just FYI I of course cropped out the clasps because that would be plainly obvious assistance!)

  4. #4
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Default

    From best to worst (relatively speaking!)
    4,2,1,3

    4 and 2 look very close, and 1 and 3 look very close.

    It's interesting how different the overtones are.

  5. #5
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Andrew M's Avatar
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    Default

    I added a poll, in case folks want to vote on which the AAA strand is - I think this is interesting because I've seen many accounts of folks in person saying that AAA Miki strands truly are unbelievable but here in this photo at least they do look all very similar to one another. Of course this is just one example of each but it is telling

    I agree PD that it's curious how different the overtones are on all of these!

  6. #6
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    I agree with PD I think the overtone difference is interesting. I think 4 AAA Its pretty hard.. plus the slight difference in the photo angle . They look very close to me... Frankly when I looked three grades in the store... the difference between A and AAA was obvious...that said..the A was beautiful.

  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Andrew M's Avatar
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    Default

    That's a fair point Kat! -- I have not ever been able to see all of these in person (hopefully this year if I make it out to Las Vegas!) but it is an interesting insight at least.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience!

  8. #8
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
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    Default

    I could probably tell in person, if they were side by side. But I can't tell from the photos. Even Miki's lowest quality is great.

  9. #9
    Member CBPearllover's Avatar
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    I think best to worst: 2, 4, 3, 1.

    What a cool poll, thanks for starting this Andrew! Even though these are good resolution, this is tricky indeed.

  10. #10
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    I could probably tell in person, if they were side by side. But I can't tell from the photos. Even Miki's lowest quality is great.
    Agreed. Very hard to tell minor differences in quality from a photo. The person who grades them does it in person, not with a photo. You can't even really see the overtone on these photos.

  11. #11
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Andrew M's Avatar
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    This was just something for fun, folks, not meant to be a scientifically perfect test. I am aware that a photo (and not one I took at that) is very very different from being able to examine them in person.

  12. #12
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    It probably depends on one's monitor, but I can see the overtones in the photos.

    The thing is, many of us do buy pearls online and we do depend on photos in making our decisions, even though it is indisputable that it's best to examine pearls in person.

  13. #13
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew M View Post
    This was just something for fun, folks, not meant to be a scientifically perfect test. I am aware that a photo (and not one I took at that) is very very different from being able to examine them in person.
    I definitely was thinking that if YOU had taken the photos we all could have aced this exam, er fun test!

  14. #14
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Yeah, my monitor stinks. I was thinking that as well, that we all really depend on good photos and that is why I always ask for additional photos and am grateful for the return policies!

  15. #15
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    4- AAA round, uniformly very sharp luster, but seems very static. Probably a nicer word for static would be Serene.

    2 & 1 can duke it out for AA:
    -2 has very uniform color, seems uniformly round but a number of disturbing departures in luster between pearls, and a sense of opacity.
    -1 has uniform luster, good color match but a bit of eccentricity in the shapes. Still, it makes up for the off-roundness by a sense of liveliness. A large number of the pearls seem to have a sense of transparency and energy, like you're looking at them through a running brook of very clear water.

    3 goes to A, it seems off round and sleepy in luster. The intensity of the color seems jumpy between pearls.

    jmho, very humble. Probably irw, 1 and 3 would duke it out for A. I did notice a number of the pearls in 1 were a bit darker re the white. But just a skosh.
    Maybe 1 and 2 would fight for A+, idk, but I like 1 better for AA and I don't think most people would agree with me.
    Last edited by lisa c; 01-08-2019 at 07:44 PM.

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