What is real pearl?
Pearls are known as the “Queen of pearls”, possessing pure beauty, gentle, luxurious, mysterious. Pearls that are natural or cultured in natural environments, including sea and freshwater pearls are considered the “Rea; pearl”.
Times ago, imitation pearls are made from plastic, coated glass and varnish. Today, imitation pearls are also covered with a thin layer of nacre, creating luster and light reflection that is close to real pearls. More advanced, many places also make imitation pearls from synthetic nacre powder from mussels’ shells, making it difficult to distinguish.
According to pearl experts, there are 8 ways to distinguish ordinary fake pearls as follows. If you are owning a Pearl necklace or any piece of jewelry made with pearls, you definitely should read this!
1. Testing under the sun
When we put pearls out in the sun, real pearls have the ability to reflect five colors.
2. Examination by microscope
When viewed under the gemological microscope from 50x to 70x, it is easy to see that the real pearl’s surface is scaly, or looks like a maze (due to layered nacre cells). While imitation pearls, the surface is dotted with beads.
3. Checking with radial X-ray machine
We will clearly see the real pearl with the nucleus and thick nacre surrounding the nucleus when checking it with X-ray. And imitation pearls only have a solid plastic core, with or without a very thin outer layer of nacre.
X-ray images clearly show that the real pearl has a core and 1.2mm thick nacre layer (left) while the fake pearl has absolutely no nucleus, and well absorbs the rays of the X-ray machine.
4. Checking the drill hole
Around the drill hole, the fake pearl is easily peeled off the paint, which can be seen with the naked eye (left picture), unlike the hole drilled in South Sea pearls (right picture).
5. Examination with teeth
Gently rub the pearl on your teeth. If it feels smooth those are fake pearls. On the contrary, if you see that it is very rough, harshed, hissing, it can be a real pearl.
Bite the gem lightly with little pressure. Imitation pearls will easily scratch, peel off the coating. Meanwhile, a solidly structured pearl with a thicker layer of nacre would not be destroyed by such a modestly pressure.
6. Observe the jewel’s outer surface with naked eyes
Observe the gem’s outward details for its shape, luster, size, and color.
Real pearls have a nice luster, natural color, and are often imperfect. The industrially produced imitation pearls are the same in size and shape, with a smooth and flawless surface. Currently, in order to pass the eyes of customers, many places have also created on purpose the appearance of fake pearls with the same defects as real pearls.
7. Fire test
Using fire, the painted imitation pearl will smoke black and peel off the paint, or can quickly burn the surface of the pearl through the fire. Meanwhile, real pearls will not catch fire. However, this method is only used to verify with plastic pearls.
8. Touch and feel
When you use the real pearl to touch your eyelids or facial skin, you will feel cool, slippery, and heavy to hold. On the contrary, imitation pearls are usually lighter and you don’t feel the heat like real pearls.
For some more sophisticated imitation pearls, which simulate up to 90% of the real pearl construction, it is necessary to distinguish by experts or some specialized machines.
In addition, consumers should also pay attention to distinguish between sea and freshwater pearls. They are also real – but freshwater pearls are mostly treated with artificial shapes and colors. They have unreal beauty and luster, inferior to sea pearls, and the price is also 10-20 times lower.
Above are 8 ways to distinguish real pearls according to the advice of leading experts on jewelry & gemstones. We hope to help readers have useful information to choose a real quality product.