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Pearl Education - Please enter your jewelry question or comment. > Tahitian Pearls

Grading Tahitian Pearls
01-28-2010, 02:25 PM

Consumers often ask us about grading wholesale Tahitian pearls and Tahitian pearl necklaces. Why are we writing this essay about the grading of Tahitian pearls you might ask? A consumer trying to educate themselves in the grading of Tahitian pearls may become confused to find different grading systems used by different companies. It's important to learn how to identify quality in pearls as this is a necessary step in the process to link pearl quality to market value.

A, A+, AA, AAA

As you know, Mikimoto popularized the A, A+, AA and AAA grading system used in their stores for the retail trade. This grading system was primarily created to show the differences in luster and surface quality for Japanese Akoya saltwater cultured pearls. Today, Mikimoto uses this grading system to grade their Tahitian pearls as well. You can learn more about this grading system here:


It is also interesting to note that Tiffany & Co. has only one grade for all of their pearls (whether they originate from Japan, Tahiti, Australia or elsewhere). They claim that their grade is the best.

American Pearl does sell Tahitian pearls to Tiffany & Co., and I can attest to their excellent quality. All of their pearls are are round, clean and exhibiting excellent luster. Tiffany usually features black Tahitian pearls with a black green color in their center showcase.


American Pearl has often stated that when pearl dealers trade Tahitian pearls, they use the A, B, C and D nomenclature to grade Tahitian pearls for the wholesale trade. This is a grading system that is supported by THE GOVERNMENT OF FRENCH POLYNESIA through a department called TAHITIAN PEARL DEPARTMENT. In addition, the government of French Polynesia works closely with an organization called PEARLS DE TAHITI. You can learn more about PERLES DE TAHITI by clicking the following link:

You can learn more about the grading system and Buyer's Guide supported by the government of French Polynesia here:

If you are reading material that talks about the A, B, C and D nomenclature it probably means you are dealing with a wholesaler of pearls where the prices are heavily discounted.
According to this grading system, there is one grade higher than A, B, C and D which is called Top Gem.
The World's Finest Pearls at Truly Wholesale Prices

Last edited by pearleducation; 02-18-2010 at 08:39 AM.
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