Hanadama Akoya pearls are ALL about luster! The blemish rate of 95% clean or greater will be about the same between the two qualities (Hanadama are NOT blemish-free, no pearl can ever be called “perfectly clean” or “blemish-free” per FTC Guidelines), so the biggest difference will be a higher, more intense rate of reflection, orient and color play.
The photo below is very typical of what you will see when you compare our AAA Quality Akoya with that of our Hanadama Akoya pearls. Both qualities are beautiful – gorgeous, in fact – but when you put the Hanadama next to the AAA pearls, the Hanadama pearls are clearly higher quality.
Hanadama Akoya versus AAA Quality Akoya pearls. Both are gorgeous, but is the luster worth an increase in price?
Now, back to the picture! When you examine it carefully, you’ll find that the inner Hanadama Quality Akoya strand features sharper reflected light sources that are very crisply defined, and the pearls appear to have a kind of ‘depth’ to them that allows you to see the pearls begin to glow subtly.
The AAA Quality pearls on the outer strand show almost no blurring or "satining" around the edges in comparison (which is great!), but the quality of the reflected light is subtly different, seemingly less sharp, and the pearls appear to show less depth.
Also present in the Hanadama strand is a more pronounced iridescence (that soap-bubble effect is called Orient) with flashes of rose and even blue showing up in the right lighting conditions. The AAA Quality strand has some of this, but not quite as much.
So that is where the increased value lies between the two grades. Whether you decide this is worth the higher price is completely up to your personal taste and budget, but to me purchasing a higher quality Hanadama Akoya pearl necklace is definitely worth it!
If you’ve fallen in love with the luster and Orient that way that I have, think about stepping down a size in the Hanadama grade, over a larger-sized AAA Quality strand. Hope this helps!