Friday, April 11, 2014

Some Tips On How To Tell If A Pearl Is Real

Some fake Pearls can be easy to spot, but good imitations may be difficult to pick out with the naked eye and the inexperienced. Making sure a pearl is genuine before buying it is just common sense.

Many tests can be performed right at the jeweler's, and they include the friction test, flaw test, matching test, overtone test, and weight test. Some jewelers may even help you perform a surface magnification test. Other tests, like the tooth test and drilled-hole test, are best performed on pieces you already own as the jeweler may most likely object to your biting and making holes with their merchandise!

A friction test involves as the name implies, rubbing Pearls together. The gritty surface texture of a real pearl should give it a notable amount of friction when you rub it against another pearl. Select two pearls from a set, such as two pearls from the same necklace or two pearl earrings. Lightly rub the two pearls together. Note the amount of friction between the two. Smooth pearls are likely fake, but two pearls that offer resistance may be real.

When doing the magnification test, place the pearl beneath the magnifier and examine its surface under 64-power magnification. Real pearls should look fine-grained, scaly, and maze-like, while fake pearls look grainy or speckled. With the flaw test we follow the saying that if a pearl seems “too perfect to be true,” there is a good chance that it is not a true pearl. Examine the pearl for flaws. Real pearls will have small imperfections, while flawless pearls are likely imitations.

If possible, compare the pearl in question against a high quality certified pearl at the jeweler’s store for a matching test. Note the blemishes in the real pearl, and look for similar blemishes in the pearl you are testing. Overtone is a translucent outer layer of color that tints the pearl’s natural color. Examine the pearl in question for any overtone. Most real pearls have some overtone. If you see no overtone, try a different test. While most real pearls have an overtone, not all do, so this test alone cannot verify or discount the legitimacy of a pearl.

Finally, this is not a scientific test by any means, nor is it foolproof. Judging the weight of a pearl simply by holding it may help you to confirm any suspicions you have after performing other tests. Carefully bounce a certified pearl in your hand to get an idea of how much it weighs if you are not sure. Most pearls feel heavy for their size and you can compare this with the pearl you are testing.

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