5 tips to know a real pearl

words Al Woods

real pearl

Apart from signifying purity and royalty, the beauty of pearl jewelry is undeniably incredible. Wearing pearls make a bold statement about you in many ways. Depending on the type and color you choose, pearls are easy to match with literally any outfit, from formal to casual smart and even casual.

These unique gems, paint as original, energetic, confident, and full of beauty. However, just like any other type of jewelry, fake versions of pearls also exist. This means that whether it’s a family heirloom, a gift, or a purchase you’re making to add a bit of spice to your wardrobe, knowing how to differentiate between real and fake pearls is important. But how exactly can you tell if it’s the real thing or just a cheap imitation? Here are some 5 tips you can use to know a real pearl.

1. Luster and Color

One of the best ways to tell a real pearl from a fake one is through close observation of color and appearance. Well, pearls come in a wide variety of colors, including white, black, green, gray, and so forth. However, real pearls tend to have a characteristic overtone effect when hit by light. In most cases, real white pearls will have a slight shade of rose or ivory when hit by light, something that lacks altogether in fake versions. As you may notice from the absolutely stunning options this website offers, darker real pearls may have a variety of overtones. Some popular ones include blue-green, peacock, cherry, and silver, just to name a few.

Additionally, real pearls always have a sharper, healthier luster compared to imitations. Luster is basically the shine or appearance of the light reflected from the pearls. In real pearls of high-quality, this should be bright and clear. However, low-quality pearls may lack this luster altogether, which doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fake.

2. Use The Rubbing and Touch Methods

Another age-old technique used by jewelers to tell test if a pearl is real is the ‘texture check’. To know if your pearls are real or not, simply rub one or two pearls gently against the sharp edges of your front teeth side to side. You should be able to feel a slightly gritty or rough texture, as opposed to fake pearls made from plastic or glass, which often have a smooth texture. Alternatively, you can rub two pearls against each other. If the pearls are real, you should be able to feel a little friction. Fake pearls will almost always have a smooth glide against each other. Also, real pearls tend to produce a fine powdery residue when rubbed against each other.

how to tell real pearl

3. Check shape

One thing to note is that real pearls are formed through a natural process. They’re created from the defense mechanism of oysters when trying to contain a foreign body or invader to protect themselves. For this reason, real pearls often have a slight degree of imperfections when it comes to shaping. In most cases, some are oblong, with minor defects that will require you to be extremely keen to notice. Yes, perfectly spherical pearls are available, but these are often rare and highly-priced. On the other hand, fake pearls tend to look too perfect. If your pearls are perfectly spherical, without blemishes, and with an even luster, it could be an indication that they’re artificial. You can also try rolling the pearl on a flat surface and see how it goes. If it rolls consistently in a straight line, it’s possibly a fake.

4. Feel The Weight

Real pearls are often heavier and more substantial than fakes. Simply feel the pearl’s weight in your hand and if it feels as if you’re holding nothing, it’s probably not the real deal. However, there’s always a higher margin of error in this kind of assessment, so be sure to counter check with one or two other techniques on this list. It works better if you have a real pearl and to make comparisons with.

5. Consult A Trusted Pearls Expert

Last but not the least, one of the surest ways to tell if a pearl is real or not is to talk to an expert you trust. This should be a trustworthy jeweler with the right tools and extensive training on testing the authenticity of precious gems. Apart from the above tests, an expert can also perform an X-radiograph test or microscopy to determine if your pearls are real.

real pearl tips

Pearls are among the most adored pieces in the world of jewelry. High-quality real pearls can be a pricey investment and before making your purchase, it pays to know for sure that you’re buying the legitimate thing. With the above tips, it’s easier to tell if the pearls you’re holding are real or not.

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