Jewelry pieces are often graded based on various factors. Every precious metal and gemstone is carefully inspected in order to provide an accurate evaluation of the quality of a jewelry piece. Gold is rated on a very simple scale that uses Karat weights. For example, a 24K piece implies that there is 100 percent pure gold composition. All other karat ratings are therefore based as a fraction of 24K. Similarly, gemstones are rated based on their cut, carat weight, color and clarity. Diamond stones are thoroughly inspected under the microscope in order to precisely evaluate the pieces. Pearls are also considered high quality materials for premium jewelry. However, pearls are rated on a very different scale compared to other gemstones and precious metals.
First of all, pearls are derived from the shells of mussels and not rock quarries that are mined. Therefore, the original body of water of a mussel shell dictates the properties of pearls. These precious materials are taken from lakes, rivers, seas and oceans worldwide. Some of the most exotic pearls come from both Freshwater and salt water locations. Akoya pearls are examples of exotic pearls that originate from the seas of Japan.
Pearls are rated based on a simple letter scale that includes A, AA, AA+ and AAA. These ratings take into consideration several factors that determine the overall quality of a given pearl piece. For example, the surface of a pearl with AAA rating is considered flawless with more than 95 percent being clear of any imperfections. A pearl with an A rating has a surface that only contains more than 20 percent of some imperfections. The luster of a pearl is rated as poor, medium, high and very high. The nacre of pearls can be thin, medium, thick and extra thick. Additionally, the shape of a pearl is evaluated based on roundness. The best pearl pieces therefore have high luster, very thick nacre and perfectly round shapes. National Pearl is an example of a jewelry shop that sells pearl pieces of different grades and ratings.
Tahitian pearls are very popular pieces that are considered exotic because they are derived from the Pacific Ocean near the Polynesian island nation of Tahiti. Similarly, China’s south sea yields some of the most beautiful pearl pieces that have golden and white finishes. Freshwater pearls are available in an array of colors and textures that include dark black finishes.