"A pearl is only a pearl once it’s out of its shell." – Nigerian Proverb
"Dancing Butterflies" White South Sea Pearl, Pink Sapphire and Diamond Pendant, 18K Gold
Pure says: The Butterflies of Spring
Jewelry by Kyllonen
DON'T GET FOOLED THIS APRIL 1st! TELLING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REAL & FAKE PEARLS
One of the most commonly asked questions we get here at Pure Pearls is how to tell the difference between traditionally cultured pearls and man-made synthetics.
Spotting Genuine Cultured Pearls
Cultured pearls are pearls that come from a mollusk, whether saltwater or Freshwater varieties.
Because the resulting pearls are a product of a natural process, they will invariably have small inclusions, variations in nacre depth, luster, color/overtone and shape.
This means that each and every single pearl harvested is a totally unique, individual gemstone with its own character and personality. Like snowflakes, no two pearls are totally, completely the same.
If you have a pearl necklace
(or pearl earrings
, bracelets, pendant, etc.) in front of you, your very first and most formidable tool is simple observation. Place the jewelry on a plain white sheet of paper and begin examining the pearls inch-by-inch.
Questions to ask while you're examining the pearls are:
- Are they all perfectly round?
- Are there shape variations?
- Do you see any inclusions or blemishes on the surfaces?
- Do the pearls feel dense and heavy for their size? Or light and hollow?
- Can you spot any variations in body color or overtone, or are the pearls all exactly the same?
Remember: Cultured pearls are a product from nature - the mollusk always leaves its fingerprint on the gem during its creation, so you’ll usually be able to find some kind of imperfection somewhere if you look hard enough.
Common Types of Synthetic Pearls
The attributes that almost all synthetic pearls have in common are smooth, somewhat plastic-looking surfaces. Also look for:
Unnatural colors that can be anything from ruby red to pitch black, lime green, sapphire blue and royal purple are often seen.
The pearls will exhibit little to no overtone because they don’t have layers of crystalline platelets, however some will feature an artificial iridescence that is fairly easy to spot that will look "oily" to the eye and overly intense.
- Where cultured pearls feature soft iridescence, synthetic pearls’ iridescence can appear over-saturated in color.
There are three major types of synthetic pearls commonly found on the market at the moment. The ones you should know about are:
- Majorica Pearls
- Shell Pearls
- Swarovski Crystal Pearls
Let's take a look at each and see if you can learn to spot them in real life ...
NO FOOL'S GOLD HERE!
Embrace the flame of love with this gracefully curving Wildfire Golden South Sea Pearl and Diamond Pendant. The SI1-GH Quality 0.14cttw diamond accents adds the perfect touch of sparkle, reminding us of the warmth and passion of love. Choose your preferred pear size, quality and 14K Gold color. Pendant comes with a matching chain.
The Diamond Wildfire Pendant is created from scratch here at our Los Angeles, CA workshop using only the finest cultured pearls, diamonds and metals. Your new Golden South Sea Pearl and Diamond Wildfire Pendant arrives in our Signature Little Black Gift Box, and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity and Pearl Care Instructions.