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Are Your Pearls Real?

Are your pearls real? This is how to find out

Pearls are synonymous with elegance and class. The quintessential charm of pearl jewellery has attracted many. Celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, Katy Perry and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, are known to have a penchant for pearls.

Celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, Katy Perry and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, are known to have a penchant for pearls.

The pearl jewellery lends a sophisticated touch to all attires and comes in various shapes and colours. Some pearls are brighter than the others and some more expensive than the rest. With easy availability and an extensive range, it’s hard to determine the genuineness of the product. To help you figure out whether those pristine pearls in your closet are real or not, here are a few tips.

Look for imperfections
The flawless the pearl is, the higher is its chances of being fake. Formation of real pearls is a natural process and have a scope for imperfection. Unlike the artificial pearls, the pearls that are derived from the freshwater or ocean shellfish are bound to have some minor flaws inside. These are absent in the imitation pearls.

Observe for deviations in size
If the pearls are perfectly round, there is a good chance that they are imitations. Finding perfectly-rounded pearls with a flawless appearance is rare. Real pearls are oblong in size with some signs of imperfection. Also, each natural pearl is unique with the difference in shape, size, colour and luster. If all pearls in your necklace appear the same, the chances are high that you have invested in a piece of artificial pearl jewellery.

Feel the weight
Most real pearls feel a little heavier than the artificial pearls of the same size. If the pearls feel hefty in your hand, be assured of their purity. On the contrary, plastic pearls feel insignificant when weighed on your hand. This method may not assure you of the purity of pearls completely, but clearly is an indicator of the extremes on the purity meter. 

Check for their gritty texture
Surface magnification is one of the reliable ways to check the purity of pearls.  Pearls when observed under microscopic magnification showcase a characteristic maze-like pattern that vouches of their purity. You need a 64X magnifying glass to check if the surface has mazy or scale-like structure.
Another great test to authenticate real pearls is the surface friction test. Bring the surface of two beads together and rub them against each other. If you feel the friction between the two, they are real unlike the smoother ones.

Try the tooth test
Rub the pearls against your teeth. Do they feel gritty? If yes, then you should be relieved that the pearls are real. Real pearls do not have a flawless smooth surface and so produce friction when rubbed against teeth. This is one of the most popular tests to validate real pearl jewellery at home. If you want to be doubly sure about the authenticity of your pearls, then there is refractometer test, X-radiograph test, etc. done exclusively by professionals in the field.

Leave no doubt, refer to an expert
A test that most experts prefer for pearl testing is the X-radiograph test. With the help of an X-ray machine, the pearls are checked for purity. While real pearls show a semi-transparent grey colour, the fake ones are solid white and solid black on the positive and negative print respectively.

Getting your pearl jewellery appraised by a professional may cost you more, but is a more reliable option than the various tests performed at home.

With various jewellery designers adding a fresh breath to antique pearl jewellery designs, you can find all the modern variants at one place – CaratLane. Whether pearl earrings or pearl pendants, this online jewellery shopping platform has it all to add more colours to your festivities.


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