The new Inspection system is run by Japan Pearl Exporters'
Association. All the leading exporters are members of JPEA.
The Cultured Pearls Quality Inspection and Tag System is not only for the members but also for
outsiders. All kinds of pearls presented for inspection will be evaluated.
Pearl companies that have outlived stringent selection by clients of their
suppliers in the last decade know what to supply to the fina0l consumers.
However, all the pearls produced are not always recommended, and do not meet
the Cultured Pearl Standards of
Japan. Only long experience in this business
can tell the quality standards. The new Cultured Pearl Quality Inspection
and Tag System is thus designed to help the trade to boost sales and to
allow retailers and consumers to buy cultured pearls with greater
Under the new system, each individual strand in a hank will be issued its
own separate inspection tag. It can be removed for custom stringing purposes
and later re-affixed to the finished strand below the clasp.
In this manner,
consumers will be able to see for themselves that the strand they are
purchasing has met the Quality Inspection Standards of Japan.
With loose pearls that are either undrilled or half drilled, individual
stickers (a different form of tag) will be affixed to each bag of pearls
containing one or more loose pearls in it.
Under the new program all pearls presented for inspection
will be evaluated on the following criteria and either passed or rejected. Master Pearls
prepared by JPEA are kept at Kobe Inspection Office, and available for
everybody to see on demand.
All pearls will be inspected for thickness of nacre. Pearls with nacre so
thin that the core nuclei can be seen through the nacre will be rejected.
Luster and Clarity
Pearls with low luster will be rejected. Pearls that are strongly permeated
by calcite and organic matter, resulting in muddy gray, brown or blue
colors, will be rejected.
Pearls that exhibit excessive amounts of blemishes, such as bumps, pits and
scratches, will be rejected.
Pearls that exhibit visible cracks in the nacre or on the nuclei will be
rejected. Pearls that display any signs of nacre peeling or chipping will be
Pearls exhibiting signs of damage from bleaching or dyeing or which are
judged to unstable in terms of permanency of appearance and quality, will be
rejected. Pearls which display characteristics of uneven dye methods or
over-dyeing resulting in excess dye residue on the surface of the pearl,
will be rejected.