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Grading Pearls

There Is No Industry-Wide Standard Pearl Grading System - Yet

As with any other item that can appear in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors and conditions, a standardized system of grading must be used when purchasing or selling pearls. Only in this way can the pearl be described according to mutually agreed-upon and understood terms, so that both buyer and seller can determine a fair price. Unfortunately, the pearl industry as a whole has not adopted a universally used standard grading system. Instead, the specific grading system often used, depends upon the specific jeweler or pearl distributor.

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GIA 7 Pearl Value Factors

Just like diamonds, pearls also have some essential characteristics in order to differentiate high quality pearls from the rest. GIA introduces these seven factors that help evaluate the quality and beauty of a pearl.

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Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater Pearls Defined

Freshwater pearls are pearls which grow in non-saline environment in freshwater mussels. 

 

Where Do Freshwater Pearls Come From?

Although the traditional source of pearls has been saltwater mollusks, freshwater mussels, which live in ponds, lakes and rivers, can also produce pearls. China has harvested freshwater pearls in the form of mabe since the 13th century, and has now become the world's undisputed leader in freshwater pearl production. The first record mentioning pearls in China was from 2206 BC. The United States was also a major source of natural freshwater pearls, from the discovery of the New World, through the 19th century, until over-harvesting and increasing pollution significantly reduced the number of available pearl-forming mussels in the US.

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Cultured Pearls

Cultured Pearls Defined

A cultured pearl is any pearl grown with the influence of human intervention.

 

Cultured Pearl Formation

A pearl is formed when a small irritant or parasite penetrates and lodges in the mantle tissue of a mollusk. In response, a substance called nacre is secreted, and the creation of a pearl begins. Nacre is a combination of crystalline and organic substances. The nacre builds up in layers, as it surrounds the irritant to protect the mollusk, and after a few years, this build up of nacre forms a pearl.

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Cortez Pearls

The History And Comeback Of Cortez Pearls

Emerging once more from the clear waters of the Gulf of California, after decades of protection, is Mexico’s most emblematic gem: ‘New World Black Pearls’. In 1533, the Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortez sent the very first expeditions into the area to find the mythical “Sea of Pearls”. Soon, the area known as the “Vermillion Sea of Cortez” – officially known as the Gulf of California - produced some of the finest known pearls in the world: the Sea of Cortez Pearl. These prized gems became New Spain’s most important export product, with a price so high that their value was over double of that of all other combined exports to the Old Continent: gold, silver and spices. It was at this moment in time when Mexican black pearls came to be known as the “Queen of Gems and Gem of Queens”, helping to adorn European nobility like never before.

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Who are we?

The Geohavens name is an assurance of timeless beauty, distinct quality and uncompromising value. The Company spares no effort in sourcing from the farthest markets and the deepest mines in order to unearth the most attractive gems.

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