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How To Not Be Fooled While Buying Pearls

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Do you know why we say “Pearls of Wisdom”? Is it because this gemstone symbolizes purity and integrity, and is also a symbol of wisdom acquired through ages. Being the only gemstone that is created by a living animal, a natural Pearl is not only precious but also extremely rare!

Since I promised to give my readers tips to buy genuine gemstones on my blog, here’s a guide for you to buy genuine pearls! Here’s how you can do it!

 Remember The 5 S’s

Here are 5 properties that you should take into consideration while buying pearls that will determine its authenticity as well as its value.

Important Tip

Do not determine the authenticity of your pearls by performing just ONE of the tests mentioned below, but combine it with a few. It takes years of practice to be an expert in identifying gemstones and the tips listed here are just some tools to keep you as informed as possible so that you don’t make the very basic mistakes while investing your money in precious and high-value gemstones.

1. Shape

In the earlier times round pearls were considered the most valuable as they resembled the shape of the moon. Today irregularly shaped pearls (called baroque pearls) hold a lot of value too.

Since pearls are produced naturally, they are usually not perfectly spherical. To check, try rolling your pearl on a flat smooth surface. If it rolls in a straight line, it is a perfect round, which means it may not be natural.

2. Size

Pearls usually range from 2mm to 25mm. When they reach the 8-9mm mark, the prices tend to shoot up significantly. You should question your jeweler if:-

a) They are large in size but are being offered at a heavily discounted price.

b) You have a Pearl strand necklace or bracelet and all the Pearls are equally sized. Finding Pearls of similar sizes is so difficult that sometimes, curating a necklace with larger pearls takes up to several YEARS!

3. Shine

The longer a Pearl stays inside the oyster, the better luster it has. Most real pearls will have a beautiful and rich luster that will make them shine when light falls on them. However, some low-quality freshwater pearls may not have such a rich luster, but they can still be genuine pearls.

4. Shade

Pearls come in various colors and shades and also have an undertone. They have a hint of a shade of color when you see them under good lighting. Slide to the next image below to see what overtone looks like.

A little more info on Pearl's Shades

Tahitian Pearls come in black, brown, gray and green shades.

South Sea Pearls are seen in Cream, Golden, and Grayish tones

Freshwater Pearls occur in white, cream, pink and violet shades.

5. Surface

a) Pearls do not tend to have a 100% smooth surface.

Look for blemishes and marks on the pearls to check if they are genuine. I personally think that irregularly surface and marks on a pearl give it an exotic and natural feel.

b) Rub the pearls against each other.

If you feel friction the pearls are real, and if it feels very smooth, they are mostly fake. There may also be a powdery residue left n your hands after this test if the Pearls are real.

c) If your pearl is drilled, examine the surface around the hole.

Well defined edges indicate that the pearl is real. It would be fake if it has paint coating coming off around the holes or uneven edges.

Look closely at the image below. Can you tell if the pearls are real? Leave a comment and let me know.

A funny, but useful test

Rub the pearl between your front teeth. You will feel the grainy texture of a real pearl, while a fake one with a smooth surface will simply slide between your teeth.

You may not want to do this test in a jewelry store 😉


Some More Facts:-

1) Pearls feel cool against the skin initially and then warm up to the body temperature once worn. Fake pearls remain at room temperature all the time.

2) Genuine Pearls are much heavier than fake ones.

3) Pearls may turn yellow and brittle over the years. This can be prevented by keeping them in a place with air circulation and also by wearing them regularly.

And of course, there’s also some Pearls of Inspirational Wisdom for you here as well –

Hope you enjoyed knowing a little more about pearls! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below and will be happy to answer them!

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Rashida Goryawala is a jewelry enthusiast and has been designing customized jewelry since 2012. She believes that wearing custom designed pieces not only feels luxurious but also boosts confidence, and she encourages everyone to bring out their own personal sense of style by doing so.

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  1. Before reading this, I had no idea how to be sure a pearl is real. Thank you for these tips!

    • You’re welcome Courtney! A lot os people face such a problem and information is all you need 🙂

  2. Thanks for removing the time and giving us these valuable tips. Will definitely be very helpful to me and many others.

  3. Great and accurate information. I am a fellow jeweler and I love working with pearls. This should help lots of people interested in making sure they buy the real thing.

  4. Way to go girl. This article was simply superb. ❤️

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