Ways to Differentiate Real Pearls from Fake Ones

Ways to Differentiate Real Pearls from Fake Ones

Pearl jewelry has been a symbol of sophistication and elegance for a long time. They have common colors like black, grey and silver. However, the main color is often modified by some additional colors which are called overtones and they are mainly pink, green and purple.

Ways of differentiating a real pearl from a fake one without damaging your pearl

  1. Observation

When you go to a store to buy a pearl necklace, if you carefully observe you can see that each pearl on the necklace has a different shape, size, colour and lustre as these pearls have been made by nature, but fake pearls have same shape and size.

  1. Shape

The pearls which are real do not have a uniform neat shape so it is very difficult to get the perfect pearl.

  1. Touch

You can easily identify a real pearl by touching it, real pearls give you a cool feeling but imitation pearls give you a sticky feeling when you roll and slide them.

  1. Sound

Whenever you shake a complete string of pearls, real pearls will produce a comfortable and soft sound and fake pearls will provide a thin sound.

  1. Magnifier observation

You can use a magnifying glass to observe the pearl surface. If pearls are real the surface will look like a grain, but if an uneven eggshell surface is observed then they are imitation pearls.

Ways used by professionals

  • Knife

When you scrape a real pearl surface with a knife some powder will fall, but in artificially coated beads scraping you will get a smooth feeling.

  • Fire

When the pearl is burnt mildly with a lighter, the surface remains intact, no odor, still shiny. However, when the burning time is extended you can hear the popping sound. Imitation pearls mild burning results in bad smell, the pearls lose their lustre.

  • Bounce test

When you drop the pearl from 60 cm height on a piece of glass the rebound height should be around 35 cm. The imitation pearls under the same test give a worse rebound height.

  • Chemical solution and polarizer observation

If you put the real pearls in acetone solution they will remain as usual but imitation pearls lose lustre. Real pearls are light or semi-transparent while imitation pearls have a transparent layer.


Whenever you go to buy your pearl jewelry, you can do a little bit of research for this purpose so that you do not commit any mistake while buying your precious pearl jewellery.