Not all pearls have a pearly luster. The truth is that while jewelry with real pearls can be safely classified as jewelry (and priced accordingly), items decorated with synthetic stones – or rather their imitations – are nothing more than jewelry. But how to distinguish one from the other? Are there any specific characteristics that would help us identify real pearls and distinguish them from fakes and imitations?
Yes, they are. But first we need to find out how imitation pearls are made, because the way these types of pearls are made determines the main difference from real gems that pearl shells give us.
How imitation pearls are made
The basis of almost every imitation is a hollow ball made of glass or glass-like materials. The inner surface of such a ball is treated and filled with a composition with a color similar to mother of pearl. The first imitations were filled with solutions of nacre, obtained from the material on the inner surface of the shell, and even with luminous gas.
Modern pearl jewelry is almost no different from the first imitations. However, the filling materials are synthetic.
Sometimes imitation pearls are made of solid materials; for example, black pearls are “made” from hematite, which, after processing, acquires a characteristic, shiny-gray shine.
Comparison of real and imitation pearls
So how can you recognize quality?
– By weight;
– By texture;
– By color.
The weight of natural pearls is always greater than that of imitation pearls. The idea is that real pearls are a very dense material, while most imitations have either cavities or cavities filled with a not very dense material. A real pearl necklace weighs more than a costume piece of jewelry.
When it comes to determining whether real pearls are used in a ring or not, it is difficult to determine the weight at a glance. Other parameters such as gloss and texture are involved.
Someone who has ever seen a real pearl will have no problem calling it a fake one with its luster and brilliance. Generally speaking, the shine of fake (or imitation) glitter is obviously bright and smooth, while a real pearl shines softly and may even have a slight shine.
Also the imitations are somewhat on the desired aspect; the pearl does not have as smooth a touch as a glass bead filled with paste or gelatin. It’s very easy to check what you have by moving the pearl on your teeth; you will feel the characteristic roughness that is not present in imitations.
There are a few other ways to test your pearls. For example:
– Drop test (the pearl is thrown onto a hard surface and then bounced off it). A real pearl has enviable elasticity, while glass (if it does not break) will bounce slightly off the floor or table;
– Checking by rubbing (when rubbing pearl against pearl, we feel dust on our fingers, this is the result of the interaction of two equally hard surfaces of calcium carbonate).
Finally, if authenticity cannot be verified by the most “physical” methods, there remains the parameter of the pearl’s value; a real pearl cannot be cheap. Moreover, fake pearls are easy to identify by the person offering them. If someone tries to sell you a natural, “just caught” pearl at a high but affordable price, they say it is a fake. One hundred percent of all products currently available for purchase as individual pieces or in jewelry come from pearl farms, not the sea.
We hope you don’t have any questions about how to determine the authenticity of pearls.