PEARL GRADING

 

JAPANESE AKOYA

TAHITIAN

 
 

WHITE & GOLDEN SOUTH SEA

GRANPEARL/SUPEARL BY PEPCA

 

The Japan Pearl Export and Processing Cooperative Association (PEPCA) has been providing testing services for top-quality Akoya Pearls since May 2008 in order to boost consumer confidence. A team of professionals test high-quality pearls following strict standards. Only those of the best quality will be categorized as "Specially Selected" pearl.

In fact, the number of pearls sent for testing is limited and those earrings the "Specially Selected" label even scarcer. An average of only 184 strings of pearls was classified as "Specially Selected" from 2008-2016. Out of yearly production of 550,000 strings of pearls, those recognized as "Specially Selected" only account for 0.03%, representing their rarity and significance.

PEPCA started issuing certificates for "Specially Selected" pearls in 2010 and pearl grading was later classified into "SUPEARL" and "GRANPEARL" in August 2017.

 

Classification

In accordance with the new grading standards, the "Specially Selected" pearls are regarded as "GRANPEARL" whereas those of the highest quality and rarity are named "SUPEARL".

PEPCA emphasized that "GRANPEARL" and "SUPEARL" products are without a doubt top-grade pearls that have gone through stringent selection and testing.

Golden and silver pearl labels were also designed to facilitate the new grading system. In addition, the organization downsized "Specially Selected" pearl classification reports to ensure convenience when promoting and showcasing pearls during exhibitions.

The pearl grading standard takes into consideration five criteria: Nacre quality, luster, shape, defects, and color. The grading standard can be used to test Akoya pearls, South Sea pearls, and Tahitian pearls.

A team of five to eight professionals from PEPCA will inspect the pearls using the above grading benchmarks before selecting those of the highest quality.

To address confusion brought about by the proliferation of pearl products whit "new" names in the market in recent years, PEPCA clarified that such labels were given by private institutes according to their own standards.

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