Real pearls are either formed naturally or “cultured” by pearl farmers. Genuine pearls take many years to develop within the confines of an oyster. Pearl farmers develop pearls by placing irritants inside the oyster that cause it to secrete a substance that hardens around the irritant, forming the nacre of the pearl.
As stunning and irresistible as pearls are, don’t be fooled, imitation pearls abound. Made to look like real pearls, imitations are created of materials like glass, ceramic, or even plastic.
Here is our 7 step guide to help you discern if it’s a genuine pearl.
Magnification Test: Under 64X magnification, real pearls have scaly, maze like patterns, almost like fingerprints. Imitation pearls have a grainy surface under magnification with imperfections (ridges or burr) around the drill hole, that give away the plastic or glass.
Friction Test Rub two pearls together and if you see a little grit between them they are genuine pearls. If the beads slide against one other, they are not the real McCoy.
Flaw Test Genuine pearls in a necklace strand will have size, shape, and color variations that are discernable under close observation. Imitation pearls just seem too perfect to be created by Mother Nature.
Temperature Test Genuine pearls feel cold to the touch. Imitation pearls take on the ambient temperature.
Weight Test Genuine pearls are heavier than fake pearls. If a necklace with large pearls feels light, it may not be real.
Luster Test Real pearls are highly reflective when held against light, while plastic or glass like pearls have a dull appearance against light.
Tooth Test The most effective way to distinguish between a real and imitation pearl is the tooth test. Real pearls feel gritty or sandy when you rub them lightly against your upper incisors. If they slide smoothly against your teeth, they are most likely imitation pearls.
At Allurez there’s no need to worry, our entire selection of pearl necklaces, earrings and rings are genuine pearl “gifts of the sea”.