How Can You Tell If a Pearl is Real at Home?

Pearls are one of the most beautiful gems on earth and are coveted for their unique beauty. They are also an heirloom piece that will be passed down through generations, making them a popular choice for gift giving. However, many people are unsure of how to tell if their pearl is real or fake. Luckily, there are a few simple tests you can do at home to determine the authenticity of your pearl.

Check the Drill Holes

If you have several pearls in a necklace, they may have been perforated to make holes that the string can pass through. If you study these holes carefully, they will usually be smaller in size than those of imitation pearls.

This test is not a foolproof way to determine the authenticity of a pearl, but it will help you narrow down your options. If the holes are large, they are most likely fake. If they are small, it’s possible that they’re genuine.

Check for Nacre

A real pearl will almost always have a thin outer layer of nacre around the nucleus. If you look at the outside of a pearl under a magnifying glass, you can usually see a line between the nacre and the nucleus. Fake pearls have either thin layers of artificial nacre or no nacre at all.

The Tooth Test

If you take a pearl out of its box and rub it against your teeth, you can feel for a gritty texture that is very different from the smooth feeling that fake pearls have. This is due to thousands of crystalline layers inside the pearl that create a sandpaper-like top coating.

It’s easy to get confused between a real pearl and an imitation one, but the tooth test is an excellent way to tell the difference. It can also be used to test the integrity of a pearl ring, since fake ones will not flex or bend like the real ones do when you rub them against your teeth.

Alternatively, you can rub your pearls against a flat surface, such as a tile or a glass. You can also use your tooth as an indicator for the truth of a pearl by rubbing them against the sharp edge of your front tooth.

Check for Blemishes and Cracks

Another way to test for the authenticity of a pearl is to look at its surface. Under a magnifying glass, you can see a number of microscopic markings and dimples that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

These marks and dimples indicate that the pearl has been formed by a natural process rather than a man-made product. A fake pearl, on the other hand, is often made through a manufacturing process and will be smooth and perfect.

These tests aren’t a foolproof method to determine the authenticity of a pearl, and they can be difficult to use on individual pearls without some guidance from an expert. For this reason, you should always use certified real pearls when attempting these tests at home. If you do not have any of your own certified pearls, contact a jeweler or borrow some from a friend to use for comparison purposes.