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Hanadama Pearls
01-17-2008, 02:58 PM

Since American Pearl first introduced the Hanadama line of pearls to the internet marketplace, we were so enthusiastic about the notion that an independent lab could grade pearls that were otherwise a blind item and offer a level of guarantee that would insure consumers that they were truly getting the pearls they bargained for.

Unfortunately, the term Hanadama has been written about so often in varying websites and forums in a way that suggests that the term Hanadama and a certificate stating Hanadama from a Japanese grading company (who is privately held I might add) was in some way a guarantee of "the best quality". Unfortunately, this is not true. Any lab, whether it be from Japan or other can put the word Hanadama on their report.

Hanadama simply means "spherical flower" as Mikimoto in their Mikimoto pearl line marketed it as a rose color pearl (their signature color). However, Hanadama has nothing to do with value or quality.

Nowhere on any of the Certificates does it indicate that the pearls in question truly originate from the Japanese Akoya saltwater oyster (the worry is that if someone passed a Chinese Akoya saltwater pearl necklace to the lab for certification of Hanadama). Not only does the certificate not mention the origin of the pearls in question it does not truly show the full range of quality available from the universe of Japanese Akoya cultured pearls. In other words it is possible to submit a pearl strand to a lab for grading that is finer quality than the lab can recognize. In addition, a pearl strand can have a good nacre thickness and what we know as the Hanadama color, yet the pearls may not be beautiful.

Most of the essays (both on commercial websites selling pearls and seemingly impartial forums that appear to bring together an unbiased group of interested pearl enthusiasts through long threads of conversations) have a hidden agenda in saying "Hanadama" is the name of the best quality akoya pearls. According to whom?

A discerning reader should read on. The certificates that this group employs to create their "Hanadama" certificates is a privately held company that earns its livelyhood charging this group a fee to grade their pearl necklaces and state on the certificate "Grading the color, shape and surface condition of this pearl necklace, it is categorizes as "Hanadama", the name of the best quality for akoya pearls by the standard of the Pearl Science Laboratory.

Anyone claiming that this private company has the authority to correlate the word "Hanadama" with the best pearls in the world must question their interests and process.

Truth be told, Hanadama can be a fine quality strand of pearls if the person who is choosing the strand and labeling it Hanadama has chosen superior pearls. However, Hanadama can also not be a fine quality strand of pearls if the person who is choosing the strand and labeling it Handama has chosen something of inferior quality.

And this is where I challenge you. If you track down all of the people and companies saying that Hanadama are the finest quality pearls available, you may discover that all of these people, their companies and their private forums may be working together through one supplier (who owns or has interests in a part of all of the companies) to spread this message and deliver a product that is not necessarily the best. As long as the company that is issuing the report that they are using for their Handama necklaces does not ask about the origin of their pearls or is forgiving about the true quality of the pearls, this group of people may have a hidden incentive to promote Hanadama as seemingly the best and giving business to the company issuing the reports to uphold a product that may be inferior.

Any honest seller of pearls should subscribe to the Gemological Institute of America's nomenclature for grading pearls (yes, this is the same honest laboratory.....non profit I might add.... who have brought us the GIA Diamond Grading Certificate that is available and credited through every jewelry store in the world!).

And if you asked an honest seller of Japanese Akoya cultured pearls what the best quality pearls in the world look like, they would explain to you that the best quality pearls are those (1) with the whitest bodycolor, (2) the roundest shapes, (3) the cleanest surfaces, (4) silver or rose overtones and (5) the thickest nacre (the skin of the pearl). This nomenclature luster, bodycolor, shape, overtone and surface cleanliness is the nomenclature set forth by the largest most reputable instittute in the world for evaluating pearls. And notice, they do not mention the world Hanadama!

American Pearl (576 Fifth Avenue, is proudly located right next door to the Gemoligical Institute of America (580 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY). If you happen to be standing in American Pearl's wholesale showroom examining a finer quality strand of Japanese Akoya cultured pearls, you'll have the comfort of knowing that you can see right outside of our showroom windows into the Gemological Institute of America where your pearl necklace might have the chance of getting a a fair grade.

Last edited by pearleducation; 03-26-2013 at 03:04 PM.
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