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Identifying Real Fresh Water Pearls

Pearls are one of the most elegant materials used to manufacture all kinds of jewelry and accessories. A wonder of mother nature, pearls have been used for centuries in necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and pendants. Peals are also fashioned into attractive shapes that are attached to apparel or used as decoration for homes and offices. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to pearls is recognizing their authenticity. A number of replica pearls are almost like the real thing, and it can be troublesome even for professionals to distinguish between them.

Identifying Real Fresh Water Pearls:
Here are some of the tips that can help you identify real fresh water pearls like a pro:

  1. The Tooth Test:
    Now while this may look weird in a high end jewelry store, the tooth test is probably the easiest way to tell a real fresh water pearl from a fake one. Simply run the pearl or pearls along the edge of your teeth. If you feel the pearls are gritty or rough, they are most probably real. Completely smooth pearls are more likely made of plastic, glass, or other material that closely resembles the actual thing. There is one catch though: pearls made from ground shells can also be gritty.

  2. The Luster Test:
    Another way of holding pearls to the light – literally – is by holding them up against different types of light. This is probably one test you can get away with at a jewelry store or other retail place. When you examine pearls under light, they should be shining from within – a sort of emission of light from inside. It will look like the entire pearl is lit up from top to bottom, and side to side. On the other hand, a fake pearl will reflect the light straight from the surface.

  3. The Rub Test:
    Another quick and easy test to see if you are holding real fresh water pearls is the rub test. As its name indicates, the rub test counts on the pearls resisting movement across each other due to their gritty, rough surface. They should not slide off each other easily.

  4. Sound:
    This test is more useful if you are examining a string of pearls. If you shake or knock the pearls against something, their sound should be soft and dull, sort of like a muffled knock. Fake pearls on the other hand, will emit a loud clank, indicating their plastic or glass construction.

  5. Shape:
    Real freshwater pearls do not have a perfectly spherical, neat shape. As a matter of fact, it is very hard to find pearls of the exact same shape. If you find pearls that appear perfectly alike, they have either been heavily processed (a small chance, since working on delicate pearls is very risky and costly) or are imitation pearls (much more likely).

These are just a few of the ways that you can identify real fresh water pearls. Remember that professionals who have the hang of it may perform other tests with tools and sharp instruments. However, these tests can permanently damage your pearls and it is not advisable to try them out unless you have proper training or supervision.


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