High quality dyed pearls can be quite beautiful. When you first start looking at pearls, maybe it is hard for you to realize that black was a dyed color in freshwater or Akoya. There are some ugly dyed pearls too. Some dyed black pearls that have a sooty look. They will remind us of home-dyed hair, which is a kind of over-colored and unnatural. Therefore, a lot of people are faced with the question how to tell dyed pearls.
Let’s get to know how pearls are dyed firstly. Generally speaking, infiltration is the common method of dyeing pearls. Dyestuff is penetrated into the pearl surface through infiltration. Freshwater pearls can be dyed easily in a short time (few hours or few days) because of the soft nacre. While South Sea pearls need much more time (one or two months) and are very costly to be dyed. Due to the compact nacre, it requires a strong light to accelerate the penetration and uniform distribution of dye, which is so called "laser dye","radiation stain" or "roast color". Currently, the method can only be found in the South Sea pearls. And some golden South Sea pearls are dyed and even look more beautiful than natural golden ones. In other words, dyed golden South Sea pearls have metallic fluorescence which will make the golden color deeper because of long-term exposure of glaring light. As for Tahitian pearls, it has high failure rate in dyeing them and also extremely expensive. Therefore, people hardly find dyed Tahitian pearls in the market.
You may want to know some skills in distinguishing the dyed pearls and natural color pearls. Well, it is not difficult if the right methods are taken.
There are some tests Shecy can provide to help:
- Price test
Some types of true color pearls are typically expensive, e.g. Tahitian pearl, Golden South Sea pearl, Akoya pearl with Rose overtone (Hanadama pearl). If the price is unbelievably low and the merchant doesn't own a special reason for this price. The pearls are probably treated.
- Size test
If a pearl's diameter is smaller than 9mm, and is marked as Tahitian pearl or Golden South Sea pearl, that must be false color. For almost all Tahitian and South Sea pearl, expect for their Keshi pearls, are larger than 9mm. Akoya oysters, on the other hand, can only produce a wide range of pearls below 9mm.
- Drilled-hole test
Look at the drilled hole of a pearl. If the nucleus looks dark and nacre inside looks white, the pearl is dyed. The other clue that indicates dyed pearl is dye concentrating around the drill hole or on some spot of pearl surface.
- Color test
Observe the pearl color carefully. Any of the following clues would indicate whether the pearl is dyed or not.
Anyway, dyed pearls are not fakes, but people can get them much easier than pearls of natural color. They fulfill people's desire of special fashion in different occasions while cost less. For their soared price, few people can afford natural black or golden pearl, treated pearl is undoubtedly a great invention to fit different tastes and trends.