The Value of Diamonds & Pearls: How to Tell If They’re Really Real

August 29, 2017 by Kiesha Joseph

Tuesday, we reported on the Tenner Diamond. A British woman purchased this diamond ring at car trunk sale for $13. Later, it sold at a jewelry auction house for more than $850,000. Determining the value of diamonds and pearls can be a bit tricky.

The antique-cut diamond was priceless. Its silver setting had turned black long ago. Yet, she’d worn the diamond ring just about every day for years.

Read What’s Your Diamond Worth? “Worthless” Tenner Diamond Sells for Thousands

How Much are Your Diamonds Worth?

Most of our jewelry boxes are filled with old jewelry we inherited from Granny or great aunts. Some of it is sitting in bags. Others are stuffed in drawers. Either way, you could be sitting on a fortune worth of old jewelry.

Vice President of Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers, Duncan Parker gives his take how to check out the value of diamonds. These are some of his top tips on how to tell if your diamond is real or fake. Parker also notes when you should go for a professional appraisal.

Professional Tips for Appraising the Value of Diamonds

Use the following tips to help you determine the value of diamonds you already own or are thinking about buying:

The Value of Diamonds and Pearls: Tiara Made of Diamonds & Pearls

Tiara Made of Diamonds & Pearls
Image Source: Patty/Flickr

Flip the Diamond Over

When looking at precious jewelry, from every angle, it will seem precious. However, with costume jewelry, there will be hidden parts that don’t look so hot.

Check out a diamond necklace or ring from the back or bottom. The value of diamonds is not very high if the following can be seen with the naked eye:

  • The gemstone itself through its setting
  • Material with stucco-like, stippled or rough texture
  • Seems to be a piece of mirror or foil stuck to the jewelry

See If There’s a Stamp on the Jewelry

Back in the day, costume jewelry was its own walking advertisement. So, there was a trade stamp on the pieces that identified the jeweler.

If you see some type of hallmark, stamp or trade name on the pieces, more than likely, it’s costume jewelry. Today, some brands still practice this type of branding. Tiffany products, for example, display the letter “T” prominently.

See How Cool the Diamond Is

When touched, real diamonds feel very cool. Glass, on the other hand, feels slightly warmer. Plastic will become warm to the touch very quickly.

This is an effective way to determine the value of diamonds.

Check Out the Diamond’s Weight

Zinc, copper and other cheaper materials are generally used to create costume jewelry. These chemical elements weigh more than precious metals.

Weight helps. But, it’s not the best indicator of the value of diamonds.

Inspect the Edges & Corners

Real metal, such as gold or platinum, doesn’t fade. So, if the edges or corners of your metals look faded or discolored, the metal is fake.

You may as well let your kids and their friends play dress up with this jewelry.

Get It Appraised by a Professional Jeweler

Never judge a piece of jewelry solely on its appearance. Even a hideous looking diamond ring or other pieces of jewelry can be valuable, according to Parker.

A woman brought him a shopping bag with a blackened tiara inside. She assumed the piece, which she found in a junk shop, was worthless. The silver was tarnished and it dated back to the Victorian times.

Parker says that pink gems are very rare in the Caribbean. This one came from a spiral-shelled tropical marine mollusk. In the end, the tiara appraised at $44,000.

Now, how’s that for the value of diamonds, even if the piece is old and ugly?

How to Tell the Difference Between Fake Pearls and Real Pearls

Are you pearls real or fake? Do you have a strand of pearls that appear to be real? Do they seem so flawless that you’re just not sure? Well, there are clear distinctions to help you determine the value of a pearl.

How to tell if you have real pearls or fake pearls.

How to tell if you have real pearls or fake pearls.
Image Source: etsy.com/Pinterest

Defining Faux Pearls by Sight

It would be bad advertising for a jeweler to name products “fake jewelry” or “fake pearls.” Instead, they use other names to identify not-so-fine jewelry. So, be on the lookout for such terms as:

  • Fake
  • Faux
  • Imitation
  • Costume
  • Simulated
  • Manmade
  • Artificial
  • Majorica
  • Mallorca

Be careful when buying Mallorca and Majorica pearls. Both lines are generally marketed to be valuable gems. They even come with special boxes and certificates. These pretend pearls are about as valuable as trinkets you find in a thrift store or yard sale.

Fake Pearls VS Real Pearls: Important Distinctions Between the Two

These are some tips to help you determine the value of pearls. Each tip will take you one step closer to figuring out whether your gem is a fake pearl or a real pearl:

  • Fake pearls are too perfect to be real. Their luster is fantastic on every area of the pearl surface. Real pearls are formed by oysters with help from Mother Nature. So, there will always be some types of imperfections upon close inspections.
  • Fake pearl sizes have no deviations. Or, their size rhythm increases perfectly throughout a strand of pearls. Real pearls vary in size, and will never appear completely flawless.
  • Fake pearls won’t have ridges or rings around the drill hole when checked out with a magnifying glass. Real pearls, in most cases, does.
  • Fake pearls don’t have color difference from pearl to pearl. They appear to be flat when it comes to tone. A real strand of pearls has depth. It will include both an overtone color and a body color.
  • Fake pearls aren’t luminous and don’t reflect light the way real pearls do. They may appear shiny. However, they won’t feature true luster or depth.
  • Fake pearls may have a plastic bead or piece of glass visibly showing at the edge of the whole where it’s strung when viewed under a magnifying glass. Chips may also be missing from the gem.
  • Fake pearls will feel lightweight in your hand. Real pearls are much heavier.

Video: Fake Vs. Real Pearls (Easy 5 Second Test)

Ever heard of the “Tooth Test”? Using this test, you can determine whether a pearl is real or fake in about five seconds.

To perform the Tooth Test on your pearls, follow these steps (video below):

  • Rub the pearls gently across the front of your teeth
  • Real pearls will feel gritty, much like the texture of sandpaper
  • Fake pearls will feel smooth, much like plastic or glass

Mind you, the Tooth Test will only help you figure out whether you have real pearls or fake pearls. It won’t, however, help you determine the value of pearls.

There are so many types of pearls on the market these days, thanks to the art of cultivating pearls. A freshwater pearl could be low-quality, making it worth just a few dollars. Yet, a saltwater pearl could be of high-quality, making it a valuable gemstone.

Check out the video below to help you with the issue of Fake Pearls VS Real Pearls. It was uploaded to YouTube by Pearls Of Joy A Higher Standard:

The Pearl Source sells authentic, genuine, real pearls and pearl jewelry online. Our high-quality pearls come in numerous sizes, shapes, and colors. Check out our wide selection of real pearl jewelry at wholesale prices today.

Kiesha Joseph
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Kiesha Joseph

The Pearl Source Content Manager at Content Marketing Geek Corporation
Kiesha Joseph is the Managing Content Editor for ThePearlSource.com, a leading online pearl jewelry website offering high-quality pearls at affordable prices. Kiesha is a Content Marketing Geek who enjoys educating her audience on a broad range of topics, including trends in marketing, SEO, jewelry, fashion, celebrity style and more.
Kiesha Joseph
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