Pearl’s originality may be identified by performing few easy on-the spot tests. Just follow this simple guide to know if your pearls are original or not.
The easiest way to differentiate between a fake and a cultured/natural pearl is by performing a tooth test. This test includes rubbing the pearl’s surface on the tooth to feel its roughness/rockiness. If the pearl feels rough/rock-like texture, then the pearl is original (cultured/natural), otherwise it is a fake pearl made of plastic, shell or glass. This test is the most commonly-used all around the world.
In this test, take a knife or a blade and scrape off the pearl’s top layer. For an original pearl (cultured/natural), the top layer will be a soft powder, i.e., the nacre of the pearl. Whereas, for a fake pearl the layer is peeled of completely and you will be able to see the plastic bead. Note: Take care not to scrape a lot of the pearl’s top layer, as it effects the surface of the pearl.
Original pearls (cultured/natural) are heavier than fake pearls. The heft of an original pearl can be distinguished from the one of a fake pearl by lifting similar size of pearls in both hands and comparing both. Note: There are high tech heavy fake pearls in the market too, so beware.
Place pearls under bright light to see how the pearl’s surface is reflecting light. Original pearls (cultured/natural) reflect light perfectly, whereas fake ones do not reflect perfectly. In some fake pearls light can be seen going through the pearl, i.e., a translucent reflection. This phenomenon is never seen in an original pearl.
Real pearls (cultured/natural) never come in perfectly same shapes and sizes; therefore, each pearl will be different when observed in an original pearl necklace or bracelet. Fake pearls can come in perfectly same shapes and sizes, since they are man-made.
You can perform any or few of these tests to identify the pearl’s originality. This can be done when you physically have the pearls, however, when shopping online we recommend you to purchase from a trusted pearl jeweler. Darpan Mangatrai is a pearl brand from over a century in India and all its products come with a lifetime guarantee of exchange and certificate of authenticity.