New Pearl Grading Procedures in The Guide

Richard Drucker, president of Gemworld International and publisher of the grading and pricing book The Guide, says their latest pearl grading system has been adapted to correspond with the greater variety and changing quality of pearls in the market. Drucker has always tried to maintain consistency with GIA grading scales but worried that GIA's latest revision of its pearl grading system would be a "one size fits all" system. Drucker felt a variation was needed for pricing. Each type of pearl, because of the way it is grown and the qualities that can be produced, should have its own quality criteria, he says. He does, however, use GIA terminology for grading and pricing. For example, The Guide ranks Japanese akoyas equally by shape, color, luster, and blemish. The biggest change for grading akoya pearls comes in judging nacre thickness. GIA no longer talks about nacre thickness as a

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