Pearl Necklace Grading System
Although there is no real international standard with regards to grading pearl necklaces, most reputable retailers will use the Mikimoto grading system which is the oldest and the most accurate.
This pearl rating system is based on the Mikimoto rating scale which evaluates the value elements of pearl Jewellery which includes A) Luster B) Surface Quality C) Shape and D) Size with a summary overall grading to help simplify your purchase. The Overall grade of these characteristics is based on the least grade in each category; such that you are assured of a much higher quality purchase overall. For example if say all value elements of a strand of pearls are graded as AAA except for say Shape which is AA+, then the Overall Quality will be graded as AA+.
Always insist on detailed grade characteristics from all Pearl Jewelry retailers and Pearl suppliers with whom you are doing business. Simply buying pearl jewelry does not guarantee quality which equate to value for price. Only the most reputable Jewelers will provide detailed, clear information in the form of “Value Elements” on their product.
Reviewing the Mikimoto rating system prior to purchasing will assure you of the highest quality and value of your purchase. In addition only a reputable pearl jewelry retailer will provide a written money back guarantee and an appraisal certificate signed by an independent Pearl Graduate from the Gemological Institute of America.
Be extremely leery of claims such as AAAA, AAA+, Collectors or sometimes even Gem Quality. These are terms used outside of the Mikimoto scale system and have been known to be associated with marketing hype for the purpose of over inflating prices. This presents an illusion that somehow these pearls are better than the Mikimoto AAA quality scale.
Always look for Mikimoto scale of AAA, AA+, AA, A, B and C qualities as this will assure you of the highest quality pearl necklace.