The Paspaley South Sea Pearl Grading System Explained
Paspaley South Sea pearls are widely considered the most beautiful and coveted pearls in the world. Derived from the South Sea of Australia, Paspaley pearls range in size, color, and quality. We've broken down the Paspaley South Sea pearl grading guide so you know exactly what you are getting.
A pearl’s shape does not affect its quality; however demand for a particular shape does impact value. Perfectly symmetrical pearls are particularly rare and desirable, although ultimately, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.
The shape of a Paspaley South Sea pearl is determined by the thickness of the layers of its nacre, thus allowing for an almost endless variety of interesting shapes. Paspaley pearls emerge from their oysters just as nature intended and as beautiful as they will ever be.
The shape of the pearl does not affect its quality. Paspaley's South Sea cultured pearls are graded into seven main shape categories: Round, Semi Round, Drop, Button, Baroque, Semi Baroque, and Circle.
Circle - A circled pearl features one or more grooved rings around the pearl and can be found in a multitude of different shapes. This distinct characteristic gives circle pearls an appealing individuality.
Baroque - A free form shaped Paspaley pearl. The beauty of this shape is that they have no rhyme or reason to their shape. The abstractness and uniqueness to this shape is what gives them their high fashion appeal.
Paspaley south sea pearls are graded into: Statement, Fine, Fashion and Foundation according to the quality of the complexion. The combination of lustre and complexion is the key to pearl quality.
Statement - Exceptional quality pearls. When set in jewelry or strung in a strand, the surface of the pearl is spotless and the nacre of the pearl is virtually free of movement. These pearls have exquisite deep lustre with the finest quality nacre.
Fine - Premium quality pearls. When set in jewelry or strung in a strand, the surface of the pearl appears spotless and the nacre of the pearl appears free of movement. On close inspection, however, very slight imperfections in the surface and/or movement in the nacre may be seen. The pearls are usually set in a way that makes the skin appear clean. These pearls have beautiful lustre and very fine quality nacre.
Fashion - High quality pearls. From a normal social viewing distance, the surface of the pearl may appear clean and the nacre of the pearl may appear free of movement. However, upon closer inspection the pearls have imperfections in the surface and slight movement in the nacre. These pearls have beautiful lustre and very fine quality nacre.
Foundation - Good quality pearls. From a normal social viewing distance the surface of the pearl has visible spots and the nacre of the pearl may have noticeable movement. These pearls have good lustre and fine quality nacre.