I have been looking for an upgrade on my 30 year old (lowest grade) Mikimoto strand. They were a surprise gift from my husband when we were newly married and had little money. He brought them home from a trip to Japan. I decided I wanted to upgrade to A+ or AA strand for the gorgeous reflection. Today I found an A strand that looked exactly like an A+ The sales associate even commented on how it seemed to be an anomaly. So I bought it and saved $900-1000. Plus I was out of state so saved sales tax. Having a few to try on and compare really paid off.