Here are a few tips and tests that may help you figure out whether your pearls are real (meaning cultured or natural). Experts recommend using several of these tests on your pearls to best help in ruling out the possibility of fakes. No one test is fool proof, and certain tests are less effective with different types of pearls.
|Tooth test: rub pearl lightly across upper front teeth||feels gritty or sandy||feels smooth|
|Magnification test: examine pearl surface with a loupe||appears unusually fine-grained||appears grainy|
|Drill hole test: examine the drill hole area with a loupe||edges are smooth and sharp||holes are bumpy or ragged|
|Heaviness test: bounce pearls in your hand||feels heavy to hold||feels unusually light (unless they are solid glass beads)|
|Flaw test: examine pearls for flaws and blemishes||most will have at least minimal flaws||if they appear absolutely flawless they are most likely fake|
|Price test: compare price to similar pearls from other dealers||has reasonable or comparative price||price is unbelievably low or discounted|