Identifying Imitation Pearls

February 11, 2015 by Melissa

Oftentimes, it’s challenging to differentiate authentic pearls from fake ones. To an untrained eye they appear identical, yet numerous characteristics differentiate one group from the other. It’s important to have the ability to recognize authentic pearls so you really receive the jewelry you desire or if you’re acquiring them as an investment.

Firstly, let us examine what authentic pearls are to set a standard to which we’re able to compare. By authentic pearls we mean cultured and natural pearls which derive from mollusks that live in either saltwater (marshes, sea) or freshwater (ponds, rivers, lakes) environments. Such pearls typically possess these traits:

  • Exhibit a gritty, fine-grained texture which contains scales, as well as fingerprint-like formations cause by natural deposition of the nacre layers.
  • Scarcely identical to one another, having tiny blemishes or imperfections.
  • The majority of real pearls contain a translucent color layer on top of its natural color referred to as overtone.
  • Typically are heavy for their size.

With the aforementioned characteristics in mind, let us discuss how imitation pearls usually are made. The best kinds of imitation pearls usually are created using powdered mother-of-pearl of additional shells, bonded with each other using an adhesive and then polished. Glass, crystal, and plastic pearls are sprayed – or perhaps filled up with – a substance made to imitate the iridescence of authentic pearls which consists of oyster and fish scales, MOP, and lacquer amongst other materials. Fake pearls usually are sold pre-drilled, and while utilized in jewelry, the holes are covered up by jewelry accessories. Holes in authentic pearls often are smooth, narrower, and typically not straight as they are drilled from both sides.

There will include many basic – but not foolproof – tests which easily can be done if you know what you’re looking for. The most typical test includes rubbing the pearl’s surface over the teeth; authentic pearls are going to feel gritty, whereas imitation pearls are going to feel smooth. Examining a lot of authentic pearls under natural sunlight is going to reveal variations in color and iridescence, where identical appearing pearls potentially are fake. An additional more reliable test includes browsing the pearl via a magnifier of microscope as you look for ridges, bumps, or bands that are characteristics of grown nacre.

The Pearl Source proudly offers the highest quality pearl necklaces at the lowest prices available anywhere. Contact us today at 1-866-877-3275.