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How to Tell Fake Black Tahitian Pearls from Real Ones

Updated on December 4, 2012

How to tell fake black Tahitian pearls from real ones, is something a lot of people have been asking.

Gemologists and jewelry experts have special X-ray machines that can differentiate a real pearl from a fake, but this is something most of us would not have access to. We can of course take our pearls along to a gemologist or jeweller and ask them to check for us, though there may well be a charge involved.

All is not lost, however, as there are a few things we can do to identify and hopefully tell a fake from a real pearl.

The shape of the pearl

Hold your pearl up to the light and look at its shape. Real pearls are seldom perfectly round. They have imperfections from being inside the oyster.

Fake pearls are probably perfectly shaped as they will have been factory molded. One exception here worth mentioning is that very occasionally nature throws out the perfect pearl. Expect to pay a huge sum of money for such a pearl.

Does the pearl feel gritty?

If we gently rub the surface of a pearl along our teeth, we will feel a slight roughness, even if the pearl feels perfectly smooth to touch. This grittiness is NOT present in fake pearls, black or otherwise.

14K White Gold 9-10mm Black Tahitian Pearl Earrings

genuine black Tahitian pearl earrings
genuine black Tahitian pearl earrings

How the hole is drilled in the pearl?

Another giveaway is the hole that has been drilled through the pearl to set it in a string or other jewelry fixture.

Genuine pearls are always precision drilled by hand, and the hole will be perfection itself.

Fake pearls, on the other hand, will have been mass produced in some shady factory somewhere, and machine cut. This will show upon close inspection. the holes will be ship-shod and lack the neatness of the hole drilled in genuine pearls.

Is your pearl cool to touch?

Another method to check if your pearls are fake or not, is to leave them down on a table or other surface for a while.

When you pick them up, real pearls are always cold to touch, although they will heat up in your hand or when next to skin.

Fake pearls never obtain this cold feeling and are always at room temperature, no matter how long you leave them sitting there.

Does your black Tahitian pearl lack luster?

When talking specifically about black Tahitian pearls, you can often tell fakes just by looking at them.

Genuine black Tahitian pearls have a rainbow luster, a colorful sheen that will change according to the light and the angle the light hits it at.

Fake black Tahitian pearls lack this luster and look dull by comparison.

I hope that next time someone tries to sell you black Tahitian pearls, or even white pearls, that you carefully check over your prospective purchase making special note of the above points.

If you want to know more about the black Tahitian pearl, read here :- The Black Tahitian Pearl

How to tell real pearls from fakes

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