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GIA Adds ‘Hanadama’ Quality Range Comment to All Pearl Classification Reports

Protecting consumers and meeting trade needs.




GIA is adding a report comment for the historical trade term ‘Hanadama’ to distinguish a designated quality range of cultured Akoya pearls. Image courtesy of GIA.
GIA is adding a report comment for the historical trade term ‘Hanadama’ to distinguish a designated quality range of cultured Akoya pearls. PHOTOGRAPHY: Courtesy of GIA

(PRESS RELEASE) CARLSBAD, CA — GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is adding a report comment for the historical trade term ‘Hanadama’ to distinguish a designated quality range of cultured Akoya pearls.

GIA’s analysis of the industry’s classification of pearls from the Akoya complex pearl oysters resulted in the identification of the quality range that was commonly agreed upon within the pearl trade as ‘Hanadama.’ In order to receive the ‘Hanadama’ comment, cultured akoya pearls must display a combination of all of the following GIA Pearl Value Factors classification ranges: Round to near-round shape, white body-color (with or without overtone), excellent luster, clean to lightly spotted surface, excellent to very good matching, and sufficient nacre thickness and quality.

When a pearl, strand or jewelry item meets the carefully defined parameters for ‘Hanadama,’ a comment that states These pearls fall into the select quality range that is known in the trade as ‘Hanadama’ (or a variation thereof) will be added to any GIA pearl classification report.

“We’ve undertaken a thorough exploration into the original and contemporary applications of the term ‘Hanadama’ along with gathering extensive input from industry insiders,” said Tom Moses, executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer. “Incorporating this historically important industry term into the report underpins our commitment to robust laboratory services and reports that allow consumers to make more informed choices in purchasing Akoya cultured pearls.”

There will be no additional fee for this change. To learn more about GIA’s pearl reports and services, visit here.

Although GIA is best known for creating the 4Cs and the GIA International Diamond Grading System, it has been a leader in identifying and classifying natural and cultured pearls since 1949. GIA has contributed to revising the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s pearl guidelines for the jewelry industry and is responsible for working with major pearl companies globally to develop comprehensive standards for describing pearls. These standards are the GIA 7 Pearl Value Factors: Size, Shape, Color, Nacre, Luster, Surface and Matching.

About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight and, in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System which is recognized around the world as the standard for diamond quality.

Through research, education, gemological laboratory services and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism. Visit



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