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How to Tell Real Pearls from Imitation Pearls

Before we explore the world of pearls, we should know how to identify the real one and imitated one.

Types of imitation pearl

- Glass Beads

The beads are cover with as many as forty coats of pearl essence and hand polished between each coat.

- Plastic Beads

Make in the same process as that of glass beads, but is much lighter than glass beads.

- Mother-of-pearl shell beads

These are coated with the same substances as plastic and glass imitations. There are also some occasions that people sell uncoated mother-of-pearl shell beads, and claim those are pearls.

Other terms used to designate imitation pearls are simulated and faux pearls.

Easy tests for real or faux

- Tooth Test

Rub the pearls lightly along the biting edge of your upper front teeth. If they feel gritty or sandy, they are real pearls. If they feel smooth, they are probably imitations.

- Friction Test

Take two pearls then lightly rub one against the other. If they feel gritty or sandy, they are real pearls. If they feel smooth, they are not real.

- Surface Magnification

Magnify the surfaces of the pearls with a magnifier. If they look grainy, the beads are imitation pearls. If they look scaly, maze-like, they are real pearls. (Under 64-power magnification)

imitation pearl surface,tahitian pearl surface

- Flaw Test

Examine the pearls for flaws. If they appear flawless and unnatural perfection, they might be imitation.

- Matching Test

Observe the whole pearl jewelry piece, their shape, luster, size, and color. Imitations can perfectly match while real pearls tend to be variations.

- Overtone Test

Imitation is lack of overtone. Real pearls have various overtones.

- Drilled-Hole Test

The pearl nacre coating is thicker than the coating of imitations. Therefore, you may find a clear dividing line between the nacre and nucleus from the real pearl's drilled-hole.

Visit Shecy Pearls Jewelry Catalogs, feel the beauty of genuine pearls.

Pearl Necklaces Pearl Earrings Pearl Bracelets Pearl Pendants Pearl Rings Pearl Sets South Sea Pearls Tahitian Pearls Freshwater Pearls Akoya Pearls

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