Glass pearls wholesale : How to Spot Pearl Imitations
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Because pearl production is an expensive, labor-intensive endeavor with no guarantee of success for the farmer, top-quality pearls always command top prices. After all, they are hard to obtain!
Just as with anything of value, whether it’s diamonds or designer handbags, cheaper imitations are always available for those who want them. When it comes to pearls, you need to know how to spot imitations and avoid the unscrupulous (or simply uninformed) proffering their goods among us. (source : glass pearls wholesale )
Pearl Test #1: “The Rub”
As explained before, real pearls (both natural and cultured) are created by layers of nacre, one on top of the other. Although pearls have a luxurious smoothness to the touch, in reality these layers overlap unevenly and roughly. If you have two pearls, rub one against the other very lightly, without damaging the pearls. If the pearls are real, you should feel a slight gritty or sandy sensation. What you’re feeling are the layers of nacre rubbing against one another. Imitations made of glass, plastic, etc. will feel smooth and glassy when rubbed together – humans have still not figured out how to reproduce the oyster’s expertise! (source : glass pearls wholesale )
If you have only a single pearl, you can also feel this sandy sensation by rubbing the pearl lightly against the front of your tooth (just don’t put the pearl between your teeth or bite it – you could damage it and be forced to take it home with you!) Be aware, however, that performing this test in public might label you a newbie… it’s better and safer to ask for a second pearl if in doubt. (source : glass pearls wholesale )
Pearl Test #2: “Feeling Cool”
Real pearls will also be cool to the touch. At room temperature, the surface of a pearl will be cool against the back of your hand or your face. Plastic will feel warm to the touch at room temperature. (source : glass pearls wholesale )
Pearl Test #3: “The Look”
True pearls nearly always show natural characteristics: a small dimple here, a slight variation in color or luster there. Be tolerant of minor blemishes; in many cases they add unique character. This is a big part of the appeal of pearls – they are a product of nature!
Imitations usually appear “perfect” in every way: bright reflections, spotless surface, identical color match. However, there is usually something about “the look” that seems unnatural, a lack of depth in those qualities. With a little practice, you can spot these easily. (source : glass pearls wholesale )
Pearl Test #4: “Heavy, Man!”
True pearls also have a distinctive weight or “heft” to them. Recognizing this trait will come with practice. They simply have a “substantial” feel that you generally don’t find with imitations. In fact, most pearl dealers instinctively use “weight” and “look” first when evaluating pearls. (source : glass pearls wholesale )
How to Spot Fake Colors
Color treatments for pearls are fairly common. However, pearls which are natural in color are almost always more valuable than treated ones. One reason is that some treatments may actually fade or make the pearl less durable. Always ask whether the color is natural, especially before making a major purchase! (source : glass pearls wholesale )
Each pearl species has a specific color range, as you discovered in the last installment of this series. Some colors not natural for particular species. For example, Akoya pearls come naturally in white, but not black. Black pearls smaller than 8mm are probably either color-treated Akoya or Freshwater pearls, since Tahitian pearls don’t usually come much smaller than 8mm. Also, if the colors you see appear to look “metallic” or otherwise seem “unnatural”, suspect color treatment. (source : glass pearls wholesale )
Obvious color treatments may show ink residue or other differences in color. Bear in mind that there are cases where color treatment is very hard to detect, especially in golden south sea pearls. In such cases, the only way to know more is to send the pearls to a testing laboratory to confirm the color. Sometimes, even labs cannot know for certain. The thing to keep in mind is that a reputable pearl dealer should always stand behind their product and disclose any color treatments up-front. If in doubt, just ask. (source : glass pearls wholesale )
Other Guidelines for Pearl Evaluation Follow these basic guidelines when evaluating pearls:
- View pearls against a white background to minimize color distortions. Pearls absorb and reflect the colors around them, including colors from your own clothing!
- If possible, view pearls under natural (white) light.
- Hold pearl strands at either end and roll them slowly to spot surface characteristics and evidence of uneven nacre (which appears as “blinking” or changes in color.)