How to Check Pearls for Authenticity

Pearls are usually attractive and expensive. But since these gems were discovered in the ancient times, malicious people have been trying to use machines to make fake ones. So how do you know a pearl is authentic? Here are a few tips that can help you distinguish genuine pearls from the fake ones.

Tip 1: Feel the temperature

The first thing you can do is to touch these gems and feel their temperatures. Authentic ones are usually cold to touch for the first few of seconds or so before actually warming up against your skin. When you touch the fake plastic pearls don’t feel the coolness, they actually assume the same temperature of the environment. However, there are those counterfeit pearls that are made from glass beads which at times can be cold, but they seem to take a long time to warm up against your skin.

Tip 2: Check the surface

When you look at the real pearls closely or under a magnifying lens, you’ll see tiny irregularities and ridges on every pearl’s surface. In a strand of multiple pearls, you can always notice very tiny irregularities on surfaces of each of them, even if they are the best quality and perfectly matched. So, if notice that your pearls are perfect and similar in terms of size, shape, color and other surface characteristics, they might be counterfeit.

Additionally, a genuine pearl will reflect light differently from a fake one. The luster of a fake pearl has a glassy appearance and is unnatural.

Tip 3: Touch the surface and feel the weight

Authentic pearls usually have textured surface because of their layered nacre structure. Therefore, if you rub them gently against each other or along the edge of your front upper tooth they will feel slightly rough or gritty. Fake or imitation pearls will feel slippery, smooth or glassy. Moreover, real pearls are usually heavier than fake ones.

Tip 4: See the colors

Real pearls often have an exotic, a translucent color that appears on the outer surface of the pearl. If you see certain pearls have only one uniform color and the lack of depth, most likely they are fake. But it’s good to note that some genuine pearls have no overtone as well. Meaning that this method should be used alongside other tests to determine the authenticity of a pearl.

Tip 5: Look at the shapes and drill holes

The drill holes in original pearls are usually very small and clean at the edges, whereas, those in imitation ones are often larger. Having rough and broken areas around the edges indicate that that is an artificial pearl. Looking into the hole, you can easily notice a coating around the drill holes of a fake pearl that eventually peel off after some time.

It’s always good to remember that you cannot do only one of the above tests to come to a final conclusion on whether or not a pearl is authentic. It’s advisable to conduct a number of these tests all together to detect fake pearls. You can as well have your pearls examined in a gemological laboratory for a more certain result.

You must be cautious when purchasing pearls. Some retailers will tell you that the pearls they are selling are natural while they’re not. The more you would want to invest in fine pearls the more you need to be diligent.

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