How to Tell If Your Pearls Are Genuine

Posted on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 in Guides, Informational, Pearls.

pearl strand

For whatever reason, you may have come into possession of pearl jewelry and aren’t sure whether or not the pearls are genuine. Here are some questions you can ask yourself that will help determine whether the pearls you own are ones worth keeping.

  1. Are the pearls heavy? Genuine pearls are heavier than those made from plastic, so if the pearls feel light to you, they’re most likely fake.
  2. Does it look like the pearls have chipped or cracking paint on their outer surfaces? Look near the pearls’ drill holes to see if there any signs of chipped paint. If this is the case, the paint was likely applied to a bead or glass, and is not a genuine pearl, which will have smooth drill holes.
  3. Are the pearls cold? Genuine pearls will generally be slightly cold when first touched. After a few seconds of contact, they’ll warm to your body’s temperature. On the contrary, fake pearls made from plastic will always feel room temperature. Pearls made from glass are a little trickier to decipher from genuine pearls, but you’ll notice that even though these pearls feel cooler to begin with, they’ll take longer to warm up (more than a few seconds) compared to genuine pearls.
  4. Do the pearls look too perfect? If the pearls are perfectly matched, meaning they all have the same size and shape without any slight deviations, they most likely not real. The goal of any pearl strand is to match pearls as best as possible, but since every genuine pearl is individually formed and is unique from any other pearl, it’s nearly impossible to match pearls perfectly.
  5. Do the pearls feel gritty? One of the most popular tests to determine whether or not a pearl is genuine is to rub it against the front of your tooth (not the edge). If it feels gritty, it’s most likely a genuine pearl. If you’re a bit squeamish about putting the pearl near your mouth, you can rub two pearls together and if they feel a little rough, you most likely have genuine pearls.
  6. Take your pearl jewelry to a professional jeweler or jewelry appraiser. This is by far the best solution to determining whether or not your pearls are authentic. All of the previously mentioned tests are not completely foolproof. There’s a chance that your pearl jewelry is heavy, doesn’t have any chipped paint, is cool to the touch, is a little imperfect, and yet it still may be fake. This is why it’s important to take your pearl jewelry to an experienced jeweler or jewelry appraiser who will be able to correctly tell you whether or not your pearls are genuine before you throw them away or give them to someone else.

Due to all of the fake pearls being sold in the world, it’s understandable if you’re nervous about purchasing pearl jewelry. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you always buy from a reputable jeweler you trust. You can rest easy knowing that every pearl sold by Kloiber Jewelers has gone through our pearl identification process and is in fact genuine. If you’re not sure whether or not your pearl jewelry is real, bring your piece into our store and get our expert opinion.