June 16, 2023

Pure Pearls Weekly Newsletter: Understanding the Hanadama Pearl Certificates


Pure Pearls Weekly Newsletter


"Life is made up of a few moments all strung together like pearls. Each moment is a pearl, and it is up to us to pick the ones with the highest luster." – Joyce Hilfer

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Understanding Hanadama Pearl Certificates


If you've been keeping up with Pure for a while you'll already know we're HUGE fans of Hanadama Akoya pearls! Their perfection in terms of roundness of shape, matching pearl to pearl throughout each layout, the shimmering colors, the iridescent Orient ... that LUSTER! We absolutely adore a lustrous, shiny strand of Hanadama pearls. 
Each necklace or pair of matched pearls for Hanadama earrings comes with its own individually numbered gemological certification from the Pearl Science Laboratory of Tokyo, Japan.
Originally established in 1978 in order to research pearl cultivation, the lab has since evolved into Japan's foremost authority on cultured Akoya pearl grading. Each year it examines thousands of strands and matched pairs that farms and processing houses send to them in the hopes that the pearls receive the coveted title and accompanying certification as "Hanadama".

The Pearl Science Laboratory Offices in Tokyo, Japan

After many decades of studying pearls, the PSL created its own patented pearl grading system in the year 2000 and opened its gemological certification services to the pearling world. Since then, their seal of approval for Akoya pearls has become one hot commodity!
There are many questions about Hanadama pearls and their certificates from new pearl shoppers and familiar collectors alike, so I thought I'd put together a little "crash course" in the certs, and explain the most important parts of the document so you know exactly what you're looking at when you buy a Hanadama Pearl Necklace.

Hanadama Pearl Necklace and Certificate

Below you'll find a full sample Hanadama Certification that comes with every Hanadama Akoya Pearl Necklace or pair of Earrings.
Each cert is individually numbered and features a picture of the pre-matched hank or matched pair of pearls for earrings that was submitted for examination. 

Hanadama Certificate Sample

The tests used by the PSL to certify a strand of pearls “Hanadama” are:
Magnification – this is a surface quality inspection, ensuring that the blemish rate is “very slightly” blemished*, with less than 5% inclusions allowable per pearl, and for the strand overall. Only 1 single “deep” inclusion is allowable for an entire strand of pearls.

Inner Inspection by Optical Fiber –  tests nacre depth at random intervals throughout the strand.
Minimum guaranteed nacre thickness for Hanadama pearls is 0.40mm thick per side (so 0.80mm total) of the pearl.

Soft X-ray Apparatus –  additional test to verify nacre depth.

Teri-value Analysis –  this test is done to analyze the rate of light reflection emitting from the surface of the pearls, and to guarantee that the luster of the pearls is “very strong”.

Aurora Effect –  this is a relatively new exam that utilizes white lighting from underneath the pearls to observe the true amount of iridescence or “Orient”. These colors most often will appear as strong pink and green colors to the observer.

Hanadama Certificate Sample with Important Information


A special note about surface blemishing on Hanadama pearls: Pearls may never be described as “flawless” or “blemish-free”. As organic gemstones created through a natural process, all pearls will display some type of surface inclusion or feature … even pearls that are clean to the eye will reveal inclusions under 10x magnification.

Per the FTC:  § 23.26 Misuse of the words "flawless," "perfect," etc. (a) It is unfair or deceptive to use the word "flawless" as a quality description of any gemstone that discloses blemishes, inclusions, or clarity faults of any sort when examined under a corrected magnifier at 10-power, with adequate illumination, by a person skilled in gemstone grading.

To learn more about common Akoya pearl inclusions, visit: The Insider's Guide To Akoya Pearl Grading


Hanadama Pearl Grading 

When we are evaluating and grading a strand of Akoya pearls or loose pearls for earrings, Pure also uses certain benchmarks that pearls have to meet in order for our pearls to pass our own secondary examination.

We can then guarantee that our Hanadama pearls "make the grade" and we can ship our pearls to you confident that you'll be receiving the highest quality, most beautiful and lustrous pearls possible.
These are:
Minimum nacre thickness 0.4mm each side of pearl (0.8mm cumulative depth) or more. 
Luster is very sharp with very high rate of reflection. 
Easily recognized facial features may be observed in pearl surfaces. 
Reflected light sources have very crisp, defined edges. 
Blemish rate between 0-5% on each pearl surface. 
Hanadama Earrings will set clean. 
Hanadama Pearl Strands will appear clean to the eye upon inspection. 
Very Near-Perfect Matching; little to no variation in color, tone, luster, shape or size.

Hanadama Pearl Necklaces

Buyer Beware: Not All Hanadama Pearls Are Equal

Notice that the Pearl Science Laboratory issues Hanadama certificates that all feature a range of “very slight imperfections” or “very strong luster”.
There is a lot that can fall within that range – and pearl markets have been flooded with just-barely-made-it certified strands and even fake certifications.
Remember: Price Isn’t Everything! The old adage that you get what you pay for holds true today, even in the world of online bargains. If you spot a Hanadama strand with suspiciously-low price points, it may just be a lower-quality strand falling on the low end of the certification, or it may not actually be a certified strand at all.

To learn more about Hanadama Akoya pearls (and see some more gorgeous real life pictures!) visit: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Hanadama Akoya Pearls
Until next time ...



Ashley M.


The PurePearls.com Wishlist: Weekly Pearl Jewelry Spotlight 



White Japanese Hanadama Akoya Pearl Necklace, 8.5-9.0mm 



Popularly known as "Flower Pearls" for their delicate to deep rose overtones, each Hanadama Japanese Akoya Pearl Necklace features some of the most brilliant, luminous luster ever seen. Graduating from 8.5-9.0mm, this 18-Inch, Princess-length necklace exudes timeless elegance, and is one of our most loved treasures.
Featuring the thickest nacre of any Akoya pearl in the world, our hand-crafted Hanadama Pearl Necklaces are individually double-knotted by hand on fine white silk, and is finished with a 14K Gold Clasp of your choice. Every Hanadama Necklace is hand-made to order here at our Los Angeles, CA workshop.
Each Hanadama Collection Necklace arrives with its own numbered Pearl Science Laboratory certificate from Tokyo, Japan, detailing the pearls' surface quality, nacre thickness and x-ray results. Your new Hanadama Akoya Pearl Necklace arrives secured in a fine Jewelry Presentation Box for you to keep and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and Pearl Care Instructions.

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