Buying Guide

Grading the Qualities of Pearls

Qualities of Pearls

A pearl is a unique, organic gem created in a living mollusc. One pearl may vary significantly from another in its origins, characteristics and treatments.

These qualities may suit a particular style of jewellery and budget but, without a careful and consistent approach to grading, buying pearls may be confusing.

The most widely accepted system of grading worldwide for natural and cultured pearls is the Gemological Institute of America's Pearl Description System.

Qualities of Pearls - Pearl Grading

There are 7 different quality factors in the GIA system that we use to describe and determine the beauty of a pearl, including:

  • Size
  • Shape
  • Colour
  • Lustre or Luster
  • Surface
  • Nacre Quality
  • Matching

If you would like to know about our commitment to quality, read more about Our Standards.