Last Episode of Confusions on Pearl Grading-South Sea Pearls
South Sea Pearls are the rarest and most pricey of the pearl varieties. They have a soft silky luster because of the large aragonite layers. White South Sea Pearl Necklaces range in price from $10,000. to $300,000 and up
Learn more about pearl grading so you can make a more informed decision in your pearl purchases.
#1 MOST IMPORTANT- There is no way to compare grades from one company to another. All grading systems are subjective and all are devised by each company themselves. There is just no standardized or universal grading system.
South Sea Pearls have their own system of grading that is much the same as Tahitian Pearls. Traditionally, South Sea Pearls are graded in an ABC range which is equivalent to the AAA+ to A+ in Freshwater and Akoya Pearls grading. This is where a lot of the confusion starts.
South Sea Pearls are known for their silky satin luster because of the large aragonite layers and do not have the same shiny reflective surface as other cultured pearls.
First, the absolute pinnacle of pearl quality is the Gem Grade pearl. It is flawless with outstanding luster and no imperfections.
90% flawless and perhaps an inclusion which can be drilled and set to appear clean. Very high luster.
80% flawless with only 1 or 2 inclusions that can be set to appear clean. Very high luster.
70% flawless with only 1 or 2 deep inclusions with luster that is high to very high
40% flawless with deep inclusions of not more than 10% of the surface. Luster is medium to high.
60% of the surface will be flawed with deep inclusions. Luster is poor to medium.