Freshwater Pearl Grading System

While there is not, as yet, any industry-wide grading system for pearls, the two most commonly used systems recognized by most reputable dealers are the A-AAA system and the A-D system (more commonly used for Tahitian pearls).

We only sell the AA+ and AAA quality of Freshwater Pearls*, and a lot of them feature with ultimate gem quality with extreme high luster and unblemished surface.

An overview of pearl grading factors can be found here

Freshwater Pearl Grading System

DawnRose Pearls A-AAA system

Surface quality


Harvest rate


The blemish is not able to be detected by eyes, clean surface >98%

Extremely strong reflection, very clear image

Top 0.5-1% harvest, very high grade


Blemish slightly exists, but is difficult for eye to detect, clean surface >95%

Strong reflection, clear image

Top 1-5% harvest, high grade, found at finest jewelry store


(not sold at DawnRose Pearls)

Tiny blemish that eye can detect, clean surface >85%

Mild reflection, image can be seen but blurred

Top 10-20% harvest, medium grade, commonly found at jewelry shop and department store


(not sold at DawnRose Pearls)

Apparent blemish, clean surface >75%

Incident light diffused, no image

Below 50% harvest, low quality, appears on E-bay sometimes


Shape Grading System

The terms to describe shapes

Diameter difference(%)**

A-AAA Grading System










Noted as Drop




Noted as Rice/Button



Irregular shape

Noted as Baroque

*The AA/AAA 6.0-7.0mm white double and triple strand is the ONLY product we sell which contains some AA freshwater pearls. This is only to make the starting price of multiple pearl strands to be more affordable to meet some customers’ requirement. All of the rest of our Freshwater pearls are absolutely AAA/AAAA quality. 

**Pearl diameter is measured by the caliper with a precision of less than 0.04mm. The diameter difference is calculated as (Maximum diameter-minimum diameter)/average diameter.

Matching Grading (for multi-pearl jewelry only)



A-AAA Grading System


Uniformity in pearl shape, lustre and surface qualities for each individual pearl; perfect smooth graduate on pearl colours and sizes; drilling holes are exactly centred without nearby flaws



Slight variance on pearl shape, lustre and surface quality for individual pearl; smooth graduate on pearl colours and sizes; drilling holes are exactly centred without nearby flaws


Safebuy Secured-SagePay gia Acceptance Mark verified sc-mastercard visa_mastercard cradit card cradit_card

Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved.
DawnRose Pearls Ltd.
Company Registered in England and Wales No. 07855478
Dunham House, 85-89 Cross Street, Sale, M33 7HH
All prices include UK VAT