We try to evaluate the amount and type of blemishes on each pearl, as well as the strand as a whole before assigning a grade of AA+ or AAA.
AA+ Quality Akoya pearls may have no more than 10% blemishing on each pearl, as well as the strand overall. Pendants, earrings and rings will set clean to the eye on the front of the pearl, but may have an inclusion located on the side or the back of the pearl (we try for the back whenever possible).
AAA Quality Akoya pearls may display no more than 5% blemishing on each pearl, as well as the strand overall. Earrings, pendants and rings will set clean to the eye; one blemish is allowable, but this is usually where we opt to drill the pearl for mounting.
For a more thorough breakdown of our pearl grading standards, please visit the PurePearls.com Akoya Pearl Grading Guide.
Pictured above are some of the more common inclusions/blemishes you’ll see on Akoya pearls.
Many to most of these inclusions will NOT affect the long-term durability of the pearls, and often are hard to see, requiring up-close inspection of 6-inches or less in the proper lighting.