HOW TO TELL IF YOUR PEARLS ARE REAL
Have you ever wondered if the beautiful pearl necklace your grandmother gave you is the real deal? How about that gorgeous strand of pearls your boyfriend gifted you – could they be a fake? Read on to find out how to tell if your pearls are real.
1. CHECK FOR FLAWS
2. USE NATURAL LIGHT
Authentic pearls have a radiant appearance and are more reflective. Test your pearls by holding them up to a light source and check to see if each pearl reflects light with an iridescent glow. If each pearl does, you're probably staring at a strand of authentic pearls. On the other hand, synthetic pearls have a glossy finish but aren't reflective.
3. CHECK FOR OVERTONES
4. CHECK THE SIZE
5. CHECK THE TEMPERATURE
6. CHECK THE WEIGHT
7. BOUNCE IT
The bounce test is a great way to tell if you have a genuine pearl. Drop the loose pearl from 2 feet high on glass, then observe the height of the rebound. If the pearl bounces back higher than 1 foot, it is most likely a genuine pearl, as the rebound height of fake pearls is much lower.
8. RUB IT
The next method for discovering the origin of your pearls is a little invasive, but it is 100% accurate. So try this trick, rub a genuine pearl against another authentic pearl. This rubbing action should feel gritty, not smooth, and produce a thin pearl powder.
Another easy way to test out your pearls is by listening to them! Knock two genuine pearls against each other, and you should hear a soft and unique sound. In contrast, when you knock counterfeit pearls together, this produces a very faint sound.
10. USE UV LIGHT
11. USE A MAGNET
The easiest way to check whether your pearls are real or fake is by using the magnet test. If you place a small magnet near a real pearl, attraction causes the real pearl to stick to it, while fake pearls will not show any sign of attraction to the magnet.
12. CHECK THE PRICE
If you're still unsure if you have authentic pearls, take a look at their price tag. Genuine pearls will usually be more expensive than imitation pearls. So, if you find a great deal on a cheap strand of real pearls, chances are they're not real.
13. EXAMINE THE STRING
Typically, authentic pearls connect along a silk or nylon thread. If you're examining a strand of pearls and the string is made from cotton, they are most likely not real pearls. Cotton strings are most common when stringing imitation pearls.
14. LOOK FOR KNOTS
Authentic pearls usually feature a knot between each pearl. These knots keep authentic pearls from rubbing against one another (leading to scratches) and protect your pearls if the strand snaps. However, some high-end fake pearl strands contain knots between each pearl to pass as authentic. So this test by itself is not definite proof.
15. USE A MICROSCOPE
The easiest way to tell if a pearl is real is to inspect it using a microscope, which allows you to inspect its surface under 10x magnification. Under a microscope, a real pearl appears scaly, while fake pearls frequently have a grainy texture.
16. SEARCH FOR A DRILL HOLE
17. THE NAIL POLISH REMOVER TEST
Using nail polish remover is one way to test if your pearls are real. First, apply a small amount of nail polish remover to a cotton ball and then lightly rub the cotton ball against the pearl. Imitation pearls will lose total luster within one minute of doing this.
18. USE FIRE
When you burn a real pearl mildly, the pearl remains shiny, intact, and produces no odor. An authentic pearl produces a pop sound if the flame is consistent for about 2 minutes. In contrast, when a fake pearl comes into contact with an open flame, it emits a foul stench and loses its shine.
19. BITE IT
Gently place the pearl between your teeth and see if it feels gritty. If it does, you're most likely dealing with a natural pearl. Imitation pearls usually consist of glass or plastic, which feel smooth when you bite them.
20. USE BLACK LIGHT
The black light test is especially useful if your pearl is undrilled. Under a black light, faux pearls will typically have a milky, bluish-white hue and uniformity in color. Under a black light, authentic pearls in a strand will have different color intensities from pearl to pearl and generally appear tan or yellowish.
21. CHECK WITH A PRO
If you're still unsure if the pearls in your possession are authentic, send them to a professional jeweler for examination. They can easily assist you in authenticating your pearls and provide you with a straightforward assessment of whether or not they are organic pearls.
In the end, if you want to be sure that a pearl is real, you’ll need to take it to an expert for authentication. But luckily, before going through these steps, there are plenty of ways to tell if something looks fishy about your pearls - from taking a closer look at their surfaces and imperfections to testing their weight and resilience. So don’t worry; you won’t be stuck with a fake pearl if you know what to look out for!