The Use of UV-Visible Reflectance Spectroscopy as an Objective Tool to Evaluate Pearl Quality Academic Article uri icon


  • Assessing the quality of pearls involves the use of various tools and methods, which are mainly visual and often quite subjective. Pearls are normally classified by origin and are then graded by luster, nacre thickness, surface quality, size, color and shape. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) to classify and estimate the quality of 27 different pearls from their UV-Visible spectra. Due to the opaque nature of pearls, spectroscopy measurements were performed using the Diffuse Reflectance UV-Visible spectroscopy technique. The spectra were acquired at two different locations on each pearl sample in order to assess surface homogeneity. The spectral data (inputs) were smoothed to reduce the noise, fed into ANNs and correlated to the pearl's quality/grading criteria (outputs). The developed ANNs were successful in predicting pearl type, mollusk growing species, possible luster and color enhancing, donor condition/type, recipient/host color, donor color, pearl luster, pearl color, origin. The results of this study shows that the developed UV-Vis spectroscopy-ANN method could be used as a more objective method of assessing pearl quality (grading) and may become a valuable tool for the pearl grading industry.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012