Institutions like the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Gemworld International, Mikimoto, and the Tahitian Government have all developed systems for determining grades for Akoya cultured pearls, South Sea White and Golden cultured pearls, Tahitian cultured pearls, and freshwater cultured pearls. They all exist as individual systems.
The Pearl Wise unified grading system was developed by Diana Sanders Cinamon. After fourteen years of teaching the Pearls Class at Santiago Canyon College in Orange, CA, Ms. Cinamon has integrated the various grading systems in use by these various industry experts. The result is an understanding that can only come when cultured pearls are evaluated in comparison to other varieties of cultured pearls.
While the Pearl Wise unified grading system is not a substitute for formal training about the identification and grading of cultured and natural pearls, the pearl set and associated instruction cards bring much light to the little understood natural beauty of pearls. It provides an instant visual recognition of the differences between color, luster, and blemishes that is easy for both customers and novices to understand. The accompanying instruction cards provide illustrations and charts for nacre thickness, variety and sizes of cultured pearls, and shape variations.
This site also provides instruction videos and downloads to assist in developing knowledge about the beauty of pearls.