Here is a note on why I do not grade pearls.
Now, I am a certified pearl grader. I have my graduate pearls diploma and I am a constant pearl learner and this is what I have learned…. pearl grading doesn’t mean a thing. Since I am the pearl buyer for The Pearl Girls, I have the privilege of seeing many, many pearls. I LOVE it and I see value and beauty in all different types of pearls. I also see ALOT of pearls marked with the AAA grade! A lot! And let me tell you, all of those AAA pearls do not look like AAA pearls! And why should they? There is no governing body that tell you exactly what a AAA looks like.
I know it is tough for any of our customers. They call us up and ask for the grade of our pearls and we hem and haw and beat around the bush. Not because we are trying to deceive anyone but simply because we believe people have been deceived. Pearl grading leaves lot of gray area!
So, let me set the record straight. I am here to tell you, all of our classic pieces feature AAA pearls. We choose the best pearls from our pearl suppliers and they all rank their pearls AAA. But, you won’t hear me calling them AAA. Our suppliers do, for sure. However, many of the companies I choose NOT to work with call their pearls AAA pearls, also. And, in my experience, they are not AAA pearls. Their pearls are significantly inferior. So, what is the difference? How can I tell you my pearls are AAA when someone else is telling you theirs are AAA and so forth.
This is all AAA means…. these are the top pearls from a pearl seller. So, let’s say someone has a pearl business and they sell pretty low-end market pearl strands. They are still going to call their very best pearls AAA pearls. Because, that is their best. And if I have a booming top of the line pearl business and I call my top of the line pearls AAA, well, how is the consumer going to know the difference? Because there is no governing body telling the hobby/market pearl business that their pearls are actually C pearls. And no one is telling my high end business that our pearls are AAA. It is all a matter of perspective. And so what if my top-of-the-line business sells an A pearl. Well, suddenly that sounds awful. Consumers think… I am not going to buy an A pearl when I can have a AAA pearl from the hobby pearl business! Even though, sometimes that A pearl from a reputable business is much nicer than the AAA pearl from a lower quality business! Am I making sense?
What is all comes down to is that if there is no one governing what it means to be an AAA pearl, a AA pearl or an A pearl. And it seems no one is offering B or C pearls (right?!), so who is backing these grades up? No one. Except for maybe company trying to sell to you.
So, if you want to buy from The Pearl Girls know one thing, I am personally involved in the buying of our pearls. We are not mass pearl importers. We have a lifetime guarantee to back up our jewelry! And, if you aren’t totally amazed by our pearls, you can send them back for a full refund. So, feel free to educate yourself. I write a lot on this blog about pearls and pearl quality! You can arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make sound pearl buying decisions.
But, don’t expect me to offer you a grade when this grading is not recognized by the industry at large.
Happy pearl buying!
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA. I also have a Pearl Travel business and travel blog at TheWorldofPearl.com.
2 Replies to “Why I Do Not Grade Pearls”
India, I wanted you to know how thrilled I was with my Christmas present to myself. The 3 pearl earrings and necklace . And out of that ordinary brown box were these beautiful boxes nestled in pink tissue paper.!!. I love the champagne pearls. I have never seen any like those or th chocolate ones. Where do they come from?. I am thinking about earrings for Christmas presents for my daughter and daughter in law. Thanks again
Yay ANNE! I am so thrilled you love your pearls! We got these from a lovely woman we work with in Hong Kong!! Thank you! Best, India