Detecting Real Pearls, FTC
Guide & Type of Pearls
Pearls, Types, Guide and Simple Detection
Perhaps the best loved gems of all time, pearls and their modern counter
parts, cultured pearls.
The online marked is full with pearls and pearl imitations, so much funny
business, how do you conduct yourself and how do you avoid being scammed?
How??? By education.
OK, before you start reading....plain and simple,
How to detect a real pearl VS a fake pearl?
Simple test, pick a not-so-visible spot on the pearl (bottom or lower
side) and gently rub the pearl on your teeth. You will feel a grinding
sensation like sand paper or sharpening stone. Only pearl will have a
"pearly" smooth luster and rub like that. All other pearl-like materials
will rub smooth on your teeth. Make a note to be gentle and not scratch the
Next: From my experience...
Beware of Chinese dealers, Chinese dealers will say anything to
make a sale. Please beware of these dealers who are out to make a quick buck
on you through high shipping and cheap lower quality product. In fact, I
dare say that the Chinese sources have ruined the pearl market by flooding
it with low quality pearls.
For example....THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SOUTH SEA FRESHWATER
PEARLS....Get it, South Sea??!! Freshwater??!! (Sea is not fresh
water). They just love to scam people don't they?
FTC Guide on Pearls
- It's unfair or deceptive to use the term "Pearl" ALONE
or the term "Natural" (or anything similar) for cultured
pearls or imitation. Cultured pearls should be noted as "cultured pearls".
- It's unfair or deceptive to use the term "Cultured", "Synthetic"
or anything similar for imitation pearls.
- It's unfair or deceptive to use the term "Oriental Pearl",
for anything other then natural pearls from the Persian Gulf.
- It's unfair or deceptive to use the term "South Sea"
for cultured pearls from other sources.
- It's unfair or deceptive to use the term "Pearl" or "Cultured
Pearl" for specimen of inferior appearance or quality.
Types of Pearls
- Akoya - Originating in Japan and today also in
China. Akoya are mostly white to cream in body color and range from 2mm to
11mm in size. Yellow, Gray and Blue colors are also known to occur in Akoya
but most likely you will find colors created by radiation.
- South Sea - Originating in Australia, Indonesia,
Philippines, Burma & Thailand. Normally white to golden in colors and range
from 8mm to 18mm in size.
- Tahitian - Originating from around the islands
of French Polynesia (places like Tahiti), They range from white to black to
metallic in color and from about 7mm to 17mm in size.
- Freshwater - Pearls cultured in streams, rivers
and lakes. Cultured freshwater pearls are very common in the US and China,
however natural freshwater pearls do occur and can be found in antique
jewelry. The range in size, shape and quality.
- Keshi - (Japanese for poppy seed) - These are
pearls that form without being intentionally nucleated (as cultured pearls
are) in mollusks undergoing pearl cultivation. Basically naturally occurring
pearls as a result of cultivation, Keshi can be seen as natural pearls since
they grow without direct human intervention.
- Blister Pearls - Cultured or natural pearls that
form over a solid core inside a freshwater or saltwater mollusk's shell. The
side that faces the shell is flat and lack nacre.
- Mabe - An assembled product consisting of a
cultured blister pearl and cemented backing (such as plastic or resin).
Thank you for your time, I hope this helps.
Please grade my other guides!!!