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  • Sample of the new GIA Cultured Pearl Classification Report
  • GIA holds an educational seminar on pearls earlier in Hong Kong.

GIA launches new pearl report

September 2021


The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has recently launched a new pearl classification report, offering customers a cost-effective option for determining the value of untreated cultured pearls based on the in-house pearl value factors.


The new Cultured Pearl Classification Report is an abbreviated report including detailed classification information on unmodified cultured pearls (exclusively for akoya, South Sea and Tahitian pearls) based on the GIA 7 Pearl Value FactorsTM and a digital image of the submitted item(s).


GIA 7 Pearl Value FactorsTM


Built on 70 years of pioneering research on pearls, GIA 7 Pearl Value FactorsTM provides a systematic way to evaluate cultured pearls by seven factors – colour, size, nacre, lustre, surface, matching and shape.


1. Size: Stated in millimetres, to two decimal places.

2. Shape: Described as round, near-round, oval, button, drop, semi-baroque or baroque. Pearls not falling into these groupings are described as they appear.

3. Colour: A combination of the pearl’s dominant body colour, overtone, and orient.

4. Lustre: The light reflected from or near the pearl’s surface, evaluated by the intensity and the sharpness of reflection.

5. Surface: Blemishes or irregularities confined to the pearl’s surface, taking into account the size, number, nature, location, visibility, and type of surface characteristics.

6. Nacre: Nacre quality is the condition of a pearl’s nacreous surface. Nacre quality is related to nacre layering during a pearl’s growth, and it affects lustre, surface, and durability.

7. Matching: The uniformity of appearance in strands and multiple pearl groups or items.


When it comes to the “matching” factor, will a pair of asymmetrical earrings be scored low due to the different appearance? “While matching may not be applicable in some cases, often it will apply to intentionally mismatched items. For example, a pair of earrings or a strand where everything matches except colour will be classified according to all of the other factors. The same can apply to differently shaped pearls where the other factors match,” GIA explains.


Aside from the said report, GIA also provides Pearl Identification Report and Pearl Identification and Classification Report for all types of pearls. “The new report saves the time and costs associated with identifying pearls that are known through the trade to be cultured,” GIA explains. For instance, the service fee for the first loose pearl submitted for the Cultured Pearl Classification Report and the Pearl Identification Report is HK$310 and HK$935 respectively. Click here for details. (Photo courtesy: GIA)



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