Test for pearls. Are your pearls real? Here are three simple ways to find out.

Test for pearls...these three simple ways will help you determine if your pearls are real or not.

It seems most of us have some "pearls" in our jewelry boxes...from a childhood gift, from being a bridesmaid in a wedding, or inherited from an aunt, or grandmother...but are they real pearls?

Have you ever wondered how you can test for pearls?

1. Simply rub two pearls together. They should feel "grainy" and not totally smooth. Fake pearls are usually plastic beads covered with coating that is very smooth. Real pearls have texture to them. This is the easiest test for pearls. 2. Bite them...not quite like checking for a "gold piece" as the cowboys do in old westerns, but slide your teeth back and forth over the pearl. Again, you will feel the grainy texture.

3. Real pearls can actually be gently"scraped" with a scissors. This scraping won't ruin the luster, because the luster isn't only skin deep, but extends through all the layers of nacre of a genuine pearl. I don't advise this for expensive pearls, however. This is best tried on freshwater pearls, where the nacre extends throughout the pearl. Seapearls only have a layer (sometimes very thin) of nacre over a shell bead...you wouldn't want to harm this thin layer.

(Scraping fake pearls with a scissors will permanently damage them, however, so take care.)

There are many round beads made out of shells these days. When applying these tests to shell beads, they will also feel grainy like a pearl.

Beads made out of shells, however, lack the luster of real pearls. But, if you're still not sure, check with a professional...he can tell you if they are real pearls or not.

Now that you know how to test for pearls, discover how to care for them.

Are Cultured Pearls REAL Pearls?

Yes...Cultured pearls are REAL pearls. Almost all pearls in these days are cultured.

They are made by the clam, in the clam, but for you.


Highly skilled individuals implant a nucleus inside the clam and the clam does the rest. The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois has more detailed information concerning this process.

Pearls can also be found which have been made naturally by a clam....these pearls are commonly called Orients. They would certainly pass the test for pearls test.

Here are also some tests for determining natural pearls from cultured pearls.

A friend of ours who lives on the shore of the Mississippi was telling me this week about finding pearls in the clams that he uses as fish bait.

Search here.

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