How are pearl necklaces made

This is how you can recognize real pearls

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With two simple tips you can tell the difference between fake and real pearls


Before pearl cultivation was discovered and practiced at the beginning of the 20th century, people dived for the precious natural products for thousands of years. People recognized the value of pearls around 5000 years ago. A Chinese story tells that Emperor Yu received pearls as a gift even back then.

The ancient Greeks also seemed to have taken a liking to the fabulously shiny spheres early on: a necklace made of pearls and gold is on display in the Museum of Art in New York which dates back to 300 BC. Is dated and comes from Greece.

Pearls that are not grown and are created in a natural ecosystem are called natural pearls. Pearls are created when the shell wants to defend itself from intruders into the housing. It is believed that larvae or impurities are often the cause of natural pearls. The shell forms a layer of mother-of-pearl around these foreign bodies, which over time grows into a pearl.

Like natural pearls, cultured pearls only grow under water under natural conditions.

In pearl cultivation, this is the case "Intruder" Artificially used, mostly a piece of tissue from a foreign mussel is used for this. This is necessary for saltwater mussels, as otherwise they would not form a layer of mother-of-pearl. With freshwater mussels, this procedure - which cannot yet be explained scientifically - is not necessary. They only form a layer of mother-of-pearl with the help of a cut in the shell tissue and without a foreign shell piece.

Cultured pearls also grow naturally

Just like natural pearls, cultured pearls are natural products. At first glance, even professionals can hardly recognize the real pearls. With the help of X-rays, the inner structure of a pearl can be made visible and thus it can be determined whether it is a cultured or natural pearl.

Artificial imitation pearls, on the other hand, are not natural products and are only created by human hands. Its somatic nature has nothing to do with that of a real pearl. Therefore, not only are they worth less, they also don't exude the magic and shine of real pearls.

In the production of imitation pearls, glass or shell powder is usually used. In the case of pearls, which consist of ground mussel shells, special care is required, because the synthetic pearls (also called “MK Pearls” or “shellpearls”) are often given the suffixes South Sea or Tahiti, but these are not real South Sea or Tahitian pearls. The shellpearls are only made from the powder of mussel shells from these regions.

Two tips to help you spot the real pearls

Tip # 1: Rub the pearls together or against your teeth. If the bead slips over smoothly, it is likely a synthetic bead. However, if you feel resistance and a rough surface, it is probably a real pearl. This is due to the layered structure of a pearl. The pearl is made up of various hexagonal plates, the so-called argonite crystals. Slight differences in height between these platelets are therefore also visible under the microscope, which is responsible for the fact that the surface of a pearl is never 100% flat.

Tip # 2: Look at the luster and color of a pearl. If these are only superficial, it is probably an artificial pearl. With real pearls, the luster and color go into the interior of the pearl. It is best to hold the pearl against a light source.

Brogle checks your pearls for authenticity

Even if our tips can certainly help you, it is safest for you to ask a professional. At Brogle, we check your pearls for authenticity and can tell you with certainty whether you have real or artificial pearl jewelry. Contact us easily by phone, Whatsapp or email. or visit us in our stores. You can find our contact details here.

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