Quality Guides / Certificates

CERTIFICATES/APPRAISALS Every item we sell comes with a Certificate of Guarantee describing the piece, its quality, and its retail value. Each certificate is prepared by a professional GIA certified pearl grading expert and qualifies as an appraisal for insurance purposes.

INDEPENDENT LAB APPRAISALS We offer a special service you will only find from The Pearl Outlet.  We will, at your request, send your purchase to an independent GIA certified lab for a Preliminary Report or for a full Insurance Appraisal. Rates are as follows:

PRESENTATION All of our items come in professional presentation boxes that are as nice, or better, than what you would expect from your local jeweler.  They will make a lasting impression when given as a gift and are perfect for storing your pearls in for generations to come.

QUALITYstrong> The quality of a pearls is judged on several factors. These factors are luster, blemishes, matching, shape, and nacre thickness. Nacre thickness is crucial to the value of a pearl since a pearl with thin nacre will not last. A pearl with no blemishes is often a sign of a poor quality pearl since the thicker the nacre is, the more chance of blemishes. On the other hand, a very high quality pearl will have a combination of thick nacre, no blemishes, high luster, and good matching.

The Pearl Outlet uses a letter grading scale from A to AAA.  Following is a table describing what each quality rating means:

Pearl Outlet Grade Description
AAA Top 1% of Harvest
Luster: Excellent
Blemishes: 96% Or Better Blemish Free
Matching: Excellent
Shape: Round
Nacre: Thick
AA+ Top 5% of Harvest
Luster: Excellent
Blemishes: 90-95% Blemish Free
Matching: Excellent
Shape: Round
Nacre: Thick
AA Top 20% of Harvest
Luster: Very Good
Blemishes: 80-90% Blemish Free
Matching: Very Good
Shape: Round
Nacre: Medium to Thick
A Top 50% of Harvest
Luster: Good
Blemishes: Moderate to Light
Matching: Good
Shape: Round
Nacre: Medium
B to C Lower 50% of Harvest Commercial Quality (Not sold here.)
Luster: Poor
Blemishes: Moderate to Heavy
Matching: Poor
Shape: Off-round to Near Round
Nacre: Poor

The above scale is for Akoya saltwater, South Sea, and Tahitian pearls. Note that freshwater pearls are graded differently because of thier roundness.

HOW WE MAINTAIN SUCH LOW PRICES The reason we can sell our pearls and pearl jewelry at such low prices is our ability to fly around the world and to buy directly from the major sources, without going through a secondary distributor. Being able to buy them like this, allows us to purchase the pearls for dramatically lower prices, and sometimes sell our pearls for less than wholesale. Jewelry stores, who often buy from outlets like us, typically pay about twice our cost for their pearls, and their markup is usually 400 to 600 percent. You will not see that kind of markup here!

HOW WE PRICE OUR PEARLS All of our pearls are priced at or below wholesale. Any retail prices listed are based on independent appraisals done by Sharon Wakefield, BSChe, GG, ISA-CAPP. Wakefield, a widely respected gemologist and appraiser, holds a Graduate Gemologist (GG) diploma from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and is a Certified Appraiser of Personal Property through the International Society of Appraisers. Note that, while our retail prices are based on these independent appraisals, not every piece has been appraised due to the extravagant cost that would be involved in doing so.