Pearls that are considered to be of gemstone quality are almost always nacreous and iridescent, wild or cultured, like the interior of the shell that produces them. A pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and because of this, the word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable.
Types of naturally made pearls (without intervention of humans)
- Freshwater pearls
- Saltwater pearls
- Akoya pearls
- Biwa Pearls
- Black pearls
- Blister pearls blue pearls
- Button pearls
- Conch pearls
There are many types of pearls, each having its own story of origination. How would you distinguish between a genuine and a not-so-genuine pearl?
Here are a few tips
- Rub the surface of the pearl over your teeth. If it’s a real pearl it will feel gritty while a faux pearl will feel smooth.
- Take the pearls out into the sun or holding them under very bright indoor lighting. If they are genuine they won’t be perfectly matched under the sun. you can observe variations in their iridescence and color. If the pearls are perfectly matched for color and overtones, they are most likely to be a fake.
- Real pearls tend not to be perfect and may have bands in their nacre, bumps, ridges, or pits. They vary in size and shape from one to another.
- Genuine pearls may have concentric ridged circles around them,
- Genuine pearls tend to warm to the skin much faster than glass pearls.
- Real pearls are heavier for their size than plastic, resin, or hollow glass pearls.
- Real pearls tend to be drilled from both sides, to meet in the center. Fake pearls often have larger, possibly straighter holes than real pearls.