How to Identify a Real Pearl from a Fake One?

Well, as you may already know, not all pearls are real. The real precious jewels are produced naturally from oysters. As these sea creatures feed, a significant amount of minerals from their food is used to produce nacre (by the oyster’s mantle), a substance that protects the oyster from external harm. Now, when the oyster faces some form of harm, threat or irritation, it uses the nacre to surround the irritant or foreign body to contain the threat, and this is when a pearl is born!

Pearls may also be cultured, where pearl harvesters keep oysters and introduce foreign bodies under the mantle so that pearls are created naturally.

In addition to their amazing beauty when worn as jewelry, pearls have a myriad of other benefits. For instance, pearl jewelry items signify a sense of class and style. As can be seen on Pure Pearls, pearls are used to make a wide range of jewelry items, including necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pendants, and even rings.

Image by an_photos from Pixabay

As long as you get the real thing and pair them with the right outfit, pearl jewelry can easily give you a royal look. As far as health is concerned, they are believed to have a mood-lifting and positive energy effects on the wearer. Other health benefits of wearing pearls include enhancing appeal, helping with menstrual issues, and boosting overall mental well-being. From an astrology point of view, pearls signify softness, serenity, and tranquility.

These days, fake pearls have flooded the market, most of which are made from plastic, glass, shell, and ceramic, among other materials. Synthetic pearls are usually of low-quality and differ from real, natural pearls in terms of color, shape, form, and other features. Nonetheless, telling the difference can be difficult unless you know a few hacks around it. Wondering whether it’s real or fake? Here are some tips on how to identify a real pearl from a fake one.

1. Check the Shape 

To tell if a pearl is real or fake, one of the first things you’ll need to do is look at the shape of a pearl. Usually, counterfeits tend to be perfectly rounded, whereas the real ones slightly vary in shape and size. While perfectly shaped natural pearls can be found, they are rare and tend to be super-pricey.

2. The Pearl Luster

The word luster refers to the kind of light a precious stone reflects. When hit by light, real pearls produce a healthy and shiny luster, which makes pearls extremely beautiful. You can even see your reflection on a real pearl’s surface if you look close enough. Nonetheless, you may have to confirm with other tests since low-quality natural pearls may have a dull luster.

3. Look Out For An Overtone

Another characteristic of real pearls is the rich, subtle color produced on the jewel’s outer surface when hit by light. This is known as the overtone effect, which is usually not present in counterfeit pearls. There are various types of overtones for real pearls, including rose, ivory, blue-green, silver, and cream. Nonetheless, some real pearls may not produce an overtone, which means that to tell if it’s real, you may have to perform further tests if you don’t see one.

4. Rubbing Two Pearls Together

This is another common way to identify a real pearl from a fake one. Usually, rubbing two pearls against each other produces a fine pearl powder. On the other hand, rubbing two fake pearls together produces no powder.

5. Feel It

Real pearls feel cool to touch against your fingers. On the other hand, fake ones feel warm and sticky. Additionally, fake pearls may feel overly heavy or extremely light on your hand, whereas natural pearls have a unique weight.

6. Magnification

This is an advanced test that can help tell if a pearl is real or not, especially when other tests have failed. This is usually done using jeweler’s loupes or microscopes with 64X-magnifications or above. Under the microscope, a real pearl usually has a scaled, maze-like pattern that resembles a topographic map of the surface. This is essentially the feature that makes natural pearls to have a gritty texture.

Image by 育银 戚 from Pixabay

In a world that is full of counterfeits, purchasing pearls without being sure they’re real can be a huge risk to your pocket. For the romantic men out there, it can also be an overly devastating experience to give your date a pearl necklace or bracelet, only for them to discover later that they are counterfeit pearls while you thought you got the real thing. With the few tips above, luckily, you can easily spot a fake from miles away… so happy pearl shopping. 

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