Live Online Seminar

The 7 Value Factors of Pearls

Person holding handful of gold south sea pearls in left hand and one pearl in right hand.
A thorough understanding of the pearl quality factors is essential when matching quality and size, such as for these golden South Sea pearls at auction in Myanmar.

Essential Knowledge for Evaluating the Quality of Pearls

Unique among gems for the process which forms them, pearls are a vital part of the gem and jewelry trade. They occur in many colors and shapes, and they may form in a mollusk naturally or as the result of skilled human intervention. Due to their special place among gems, there are a variety of factors to consider when evaluating the quality and value of pearls.
This seminar will provide an in-depth look at the GIA 7 Pearl Value Factors™ and how gem and jewelry professionals can apply this evaluation system in their daily dealing with pearls. These criteria were developed by GIA over a 60-year period of ground-breaking research on pearls, and used by experts when evaluating pearls in the laboratory.

This seminar is ideal for gemologists, sales associates, jewelry buyers, jewelers, pearl investors and enthusiasts.

What you'll learn:

  • The difference between natural and cultured pearls
  • The main types of cultured pearls including akoya, South Sea, Tahitian and freshwater 
  • How to apply the GIA 7 Pearl Value Factors™ (Size, Shape, Color, Luster, Surface, Nacre and Matching) to different pearl types
  • Techniques to systematically evaluate pearl quality whether you are examining a single pearl, pearl jewelry or strands
Participants will be provided a digital reference guide, and are encouraged to ask questions as they are guided by GIA gemology instructors who will share their expertise through illustrations, images and lecture.

Register Now

Two multi-colored South Sea cultured pearl necklaces laying next to each other on a black surface.
Creating beautiful stands of pearls requires the harmony of many key value factors including size, shape, color and luster.


Each online seminar is two hours. New dates may be added throughout the year. The number of attendees will be limited to ensure the best experience possible.

  • Feb. 23, 2022 / 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Pacific Time

This live seminar will be delivered through an online learning platform.


$195 USD (GIA Alumni receive a 10% discount)


Please complete the online registration form. You will be provided information about how to access the platform after your registration is confirmed.

Continuing education offerings by the GIA Alumni Association™ are considered avocational or recreational in nature and are not intended to prepare individuals for entry-level employment. They are non-credit bearing and do not lead to a GIA academic credential. They are not eligible for state or federal student financial aid programs and do not fall under the approval of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) or the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

Dates, course content and instructors are subject to change.