AA+ Quality Freshwater pearls represent the top 10% of each yearly harvest. They'll be slightly off-round to ovalish in shape, although to the casual observer they'll appear round from a distance of 12-inches or more. The luster will be slightly softer, and the blemish rate will measure between 5-10% on each pearl as well as the necklace overall. This means that some pearls will be completely clean, while others may have one or two inclusions.
AAA Quality Freshwater pearls represent the top 3% of each yearly harvest. They are very near round in shape, and will appear perfectly round to the casual observer. The luster will be slightly sharper, but still softerÂ in comparison to an Akoya pearl. You'll be able to make out the shape of your face, and possibly your smile reflected in the surface of the pearls, and reflected light sources will feature on slight fuzzing around the edges. The blemish rate will be less than 5% total.
If you have both strands side by side, then those differences would easily show up; however if you are buying her first pearlsÂ present and don't want to spend too much money on something she may not fall head over heels in love with right away, then I'd highly recommend our AA+ Quality pearls as being an excellent value.
On the other hand, if you're a luster junky like me, then it's AAA Quality all the way! The shinier the pearls are, the better!
Check out my Freshwater Pearl Grading Guide, which gives you a comprehensive breakdown of the various pearl qualities, along with corresponding pictures so you can visualize each grade, and see which pearl quality is right for you.