How To: Tell if a pearl is real

Tell if a pearl is real

There's nothing more special than a beautiful pearl necklace. But how do you know if they are real? Knowing some qualities that pearls have should help you determine when there is an obvious fake in your presence. It might ultimately be necessary to leave it to a professional to authenticate those pretty little presents from the sea.

Don't be fooled at – find out if you're looking at the genuine article.

You Will Need

* Teeth
* Another pearl
* A magnifying glass
* A jeweler's loupe
* Sunlight or bright lights
* Professional jeweler

Step 1: Use your teeth

Scrape the pearl across your front teeth. Real pearls typically feel gritty or slightly rough, while fakes will likely feel smooth.

Step 2: Test for friction

Rub one pearl against another lightly. If you feel a sandy friction, then they are probably real.

Step 3: Magnify them

Using a magnifying glass or a jeweler's loupe, examine the pearl's surface. Real pearls look scaly; imitations look grainy.

Step 4: Check for flaws

Check for flaws in the surface and shape of the pearl. Real pearls usually have imperfections.

Look at a strand of pearls carefully. If the pearls seem uniform in size, color, or shape, it is likely the pearls are not real.

Step 5: Perform a sunlight test

Take the pearls into the sunlight or hold them under bright lights. Real pearls will reveal a colorful luster that shifts as they move.

Step 6: X-ray the pearl

Have the pearls x-rayed by a jewelry expert. This may cost you, but knowing for sure may be worth it.

Did you know? It may take as long as six years before a cultured pearl is ready to harvest.

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