Pearl Grading Systems at Timeless Pearl

Pearl Grading Systems at Timeless Pearl

At Timeless Pearl, we base our grading system on that of the top pearl farms. Pearl grades range from E (lowest pearl-grade) to AAAAA (highest quality).

Lowest grade pearls from grade E to grade D are often processed into powders in order to make medicines or cosmetics products. Pearl Powder contains dozens of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, strontium, copper, selenium, silicon, titanium, and more. Pearl contains calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, calcium phosphate, ferric oxide, and silica. High-quality pearl powders offer great nutrition to the skin, and it’s often used in cosmetic products.

Also, pearls are admired for their natural healing significance. Pearls enhance the power of the moon, which signifies softness, love, family life, a steady mind, and many other good things. Pearl helps in reducing discomforts during sleep, and help to solve problems such as throat trouble, eye trouble, dysentery…

C grade pearls are often used for fashion pearl jewelry with dyeing or lacquer processing as below.

Pearls with a circle pattern as below are classified as grade B, and they are mostly used for fashion jewelry making.

At Timeless Pearl, we offer different grades of pearl jewelry.  You could find low-grade pearl jewelry (equal to or lower than AA) in our pearl grade description.  

Seven factors determine the value of pearl: Size, Luster, Shape, Color, Surface, Match, and Nacre.

  1. Size: Generally, the bigger in size, the more valuable the pearl. Pearls with a diameter equal to 7mm or lower are called “BEADS” by freshwater pearl farmers while pearls with a diameter higher than 8mm are called “GEMS”.
  2. Surface: The quality of the surface is one of the most important factors that determine value. Based on perfectly round pearls, AAAAA grade means 100% of the surface is virtually flawless, AAAA grade means 98% of the surface is virtually flawless, and AAA grade means 95% of the surface is virtually flawless. If the pearl is not round, a surface that is 100% virtually flawless is classified as AAA.
  3. Luster: Pearl luster is the shine or glow of a pearl or the amount of light that is reflected on the surface of the pearl. Luster is the most important factor that determines the value of pearls.
  4. Shape: Perfectly round pearls are more valuable than those that are not. Most saltwater pearls are round because they are nucleated by a shell bead. Most freshwater pearls, except for Edison pearls, are not nucleated this way, and therefore, they are not always round.
  5. Color: The color of pearls can affect the value of the pearl. This depends on taste and scarcity. Natural colors include white, pink, peach, purple, creamy gold, gold, metallic, silver, gray, and black.
  6. Match: For strands of pearls, how perfectly the pearls match one another in shape, size, and color, affects the value of the jewelry piece.
  7. Nacre: Nacre thickness is a quality characteristic only applied to saltwater or Edison pearls, as they are bead-nucleated pearls. It is not applied to Keshi pearls or freshwater pearls as both are composed of solid nacre. Nacre thickness is the most important factor to consider when choosing saltwater or Edison pearls. It determines the durability and elasticity of a cultured pearl. Nacre thickness ranges from 0.1mm to over 2mm. Pearls with thin nacre lack depth in their color and luster and the nacre can wear away soon. For nacre thickness visualization, refer to the table below:

Practical TIPS for choosing your best grade pearls:

  • If the pearl shape is perfectly round, the highest grade it can get is AAAAA with a surface that is 100% clean and completely visually flawless. Pearls with this grading are extremely rare.
  • The highest classification pearls can get if their shape is not round is AAA. These pearls are perfect in every other way: they have a high luster, their surface is visually clean and completely flawless.


For more information on our grading system, refer to the table below:


If you have any further questions about our grading system and the quality of our pearls, please contact us for more information.