May 30, 2023

Dinner Dressing

Mistrzowie Mody

5 Ways to Tell Real Pearls From Faux Pearls

There are real pearls, and there are faux – pronounced “fo” – (a nice way of saying “imitation” or “fake”) – pearls. How to tell the difference without much effort or expense?

Here are some quick and easy ways:

1. Cut it open – not recommended for your lovely pearl necklace that you inherited from Grandma. If you did cut a natural pearl open, you would see that is made up of layers of nacre – produced by an irritant inside an oyster’s shell. Of course this destroys the pearl, so let’s look at some less invasive methods.

2. The Tooth Test: This is an easy one, although not totally reliable. You rub the pearl against your teeth. A real pearl will likely feel a bit rough or gritty, while a faux pearl will feel smooth. Natural pearls and cultured pearls will both feel gritty, so you really won’t know whether it is natural or cultured. Synthetic pearls, plastic or glass, will feel completely smooth against the tooth.

3. Take your pearls outside on a sunny day, or hold them under a very bright indoor light. A strand of genuine pearls will not be uniform in color or iridescence. If they’re all perfectly matched, the strand of pearls is most likely fake.

4. Look at the pearls under strong magnification. You can see the natural irregularities of natural pearls or the smoothness of fakes. You can also look at the drill holes to see if there are layers of nacre or smooth edges to the holes. On older faux pearl strands you might also see the “pearl” finish wearing away around the holes.

5. And finally, if you’re still not sure, bring the pearls to a reputable jeweler and get his or her opinion.

Just because a piece of pearl jewelry is set in 14 karat gold does not guarantee that the pearls are real. And, as always, if you like the piece, and it’s not meant for investment, wear it and enjoy it even if you discover that it’s “faux”.