- Step 1: Use your teeth Scrape the pearl across your front teeth. Real pearls typically feel gritty or slightly rough, while fakes will likely feel smooth.
- Step 2: Test for friction Rub one pearl against another lightly. If you feel a sandy friction, then they are probably real.
- Step 3: Magnify them Using a magnifying glass or a jeweler's loupe, examine the pearl’s surface. Real pearls look scaly; imitations look grainy.
- Step 4: Check for flaws Check for flaws in the surface and shape of the pearl. Real pearls usually have imperfections.
- TIP: Look at a strand of pearls carefully. If the pearls seem uniform in size, color, or shape, it is likely the pearls are not real.
- Step 5: Perform a sunlight test Take the pearls into the sunlight or hold them under bright lights. Real pearls will reveal a colorful luster that shifts as they move.
- Step 6: X-ray the pearl Have the pearls x-rayed by a jewelry expert. This may cost you, but knowing for sure may be worth it.
- FACT: Did you know? It may take as long as six years before a cultured pearl is ready to harvest.
You Will Need
- Another pearl
- A magnifying glass
- A jeweler's loupe
- Sunlight or bright lights
- Professional jeweler