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Buying vintage pearl jewellery is a great way to find beautiful and original pieces of jewellery. However, as the desire for vintage jewellery has increased, so has the amount of fake jewellery on the market. With regard to pearls, the number of different types of pearls that exist mean that working out whether a pearl is real, cultured, or a fake can be extremely tricky, even for the experts.
Although it is difficult to be totally conclusive on determining whether your vintage pearl earrings or vintage pearl necklace is the real deal, keep in mind our key points below to help you determine how to spot a fake pearl.
Take the pearl and then rub it delicately over the surface of your teeth. A natural pearl should have a slight gritty feel. A cultured pearl should be slightly smoother but should still retain a slight gritty or bumpy feel.
Study the pearls under a bright light, either inside or outside. Look for differences in colour and iridescence. If the pearls have the exact same colour and shape they are fake.
With a magnifying glass study the surface of the pearls for bumps or uneven areas ,and carefully look at the drill hole. If you can see layers they are most likely true pearls.
Check for quality signs. True pearls are heavier than fake pearls. True pearls are generally knotted between each pearl, and often have sterling silver chains including safety catches.
Below is an example of a beautiful freshwater pearl necklace.
Below right: Gemstone earrings wih pearls