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How to Choose Pearls - Step 2

A 5 Step Guide for Beginners

Jump Ahead: Step 1: What types of pearls to buy Step 2 What Quality Pearls to Get Step 3: Decide on the Pearl Size Step 4: What Length Pearl Necklace is Best Step 5: How to Choose Pearls  Read next step on choosing pearls

Step 2: What Quality Pearls to Get

AAA pearls are the highest quality pearls, with almost clean surface. (Minor surface irregularities are a part of the pearls natural texture.)

The great majority of pearls harvested are not suitable for jewelry. Those considered of jewelry grade are graded as A, A+,AA, AA+,AAA with AAA being the highest quality. Pearls of AA+ and AAA quality represent the very highest quality pearls available. Very few pearls meet these standards. does not sell pearls of lower quality than AA+ in any of our round pearls.

Pearl Comparison

What does AAA quality pearls mean? While there are slightly different grading criteria for the different pearl types, generally on Pearl Distributors website the following applies:

Pearls graded as AA+ will have minimum 90% clean surface and have very high luster. Pearls graded as AAA will have minimum 95% clean surface and have excellent luster and thick nacre. (For complete details see our information pages)

Some collections such as Hanadama pearls and Freshwater Orient pearls are made of specially selected outstanding AAA pearls so are considered higher quality than normal AAA pearl necklaces.

Grade 1

Baroque pearls are not round, but organic shapes. The grading for these depends on the luster and the smoothness of the surface. Because of the unusual shapes and irregularities the grading may appear lower than that of the round pearls. This does not detract from the beauty of the pearls.