Last updated on May 9, 2020
Pearls are trending and many jewellery lovers want to add some new pieces to their jewellery collection. But not all of them know how to tell real pearls from fakes. Some fake pearls are easy to recognize, while others are harder to spot. Here are some tips to help with this deal.
Real Pearls Are Rough
Real pearls have an irregular surface. If you try to feel a real pearl with your fingers or rub it against your teeth, you will feel that its surface is uneven. On the contrary, fake pearls have a very smooth surface.
However, this method is not always accurate, as many fake pearls are created to imitate the uneven surface of real pearls nowadays.
A better way to test the surface is to use a loupe or a microscope.
Under magnification, you will see the texture of the surface and easily notice irregularities. If the surface is perfectly smooth and the price for the gem is quite cheap, you can be sure you are dealing with a fake pearl.
Real Pearls Have Imperfect Colour
Take a closer look at the pearl in a well-lit room or the sunlight. If the pearl is real, its colour will be uneven throughout, meaning you will be able to see gradations of different tones.
Fake pearls do now show the same effect – their colour is usually the same throughout the gem.
Real Pearls Have Irregular Shape
Real pearls are organic gemstones and they are formed by shelled molluscs. This is a natural process and it is not as precise as a machine is, which is why real pearls have irregular surfaces.
On the other hand, fakes usually have a perfectly spherical shape. Of course, there are fake pearls that are intentionally created with irregular shapes but you can always tell the difference by their surface under magnification.
Real Pearls Have Small and Regular Drill Holes
Once you have inspected the appearance of the gems, you can check the drill holes.
Real pearls usually have precise small drill holes. This is extremely important to preserve the integrity of pearls, which is why the holes are always regular.
On the contrary, fake pearls are not drilled that accurately and the top layer usually peels off easily with time. This effect you can never see with real pearls.
Weight and Warmth
Real pearls usually weight more than fake pearls, which are often made of plastic or another lighter material. However, this sign is not always proof for fakes as they could be made of heavier materials to imitate the real ones.
If you hold a real and a fake pearl in your hand, the real one will usually take longer to warm up. But again, this test can not be true for all cases, as it is highly dependent on the material the fake is made of. And yes, you will need a real pearl to compare it with the one in question.