Category: Pearl Jewelry

Jewelry Trends from the Oscars You Need to Be Paying Attention To

Who else watches the Oscars to drool over all the gorgeous, custom, unique and rare gems worn by all of the lovely red-carpet celebrities? This year definitely did not disappoint! We noticed a few trends that we’re excited to see taking to the streets. Here are a few of our favorites, and how to wear them off the red carpet.

1) Statement earrings

It seems like all the celebs this year were rocking some type of statement earrings. Each had their own personal style, and each looked fabulous flaunting it!

Photo by George Pimentel/FilmMagic

Charlize Theron went big and bold with her statement earrings. Style tip: if you’re going to rock earrings as dazzling as the ones above, definitely go with a bare neck as well. You don’t want your necklace to be in competition with your earrings, and if you’ve got a killer pair of statement earrings you’re dying to show off, then you certainly want to let them do the talking.

Pictured below: some of our favorite big, bold statement earrings available here at Pearls International.
Black Pearl Waterfall Earrings White Freshwater Pearl Earrings

Photo by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Emma Stone rocked a slightly more delicate, yet still impactful look with these beautiful diamond earrings. The best thing about these earrings is the movement they allow. The diamond sparkle is ready to catch your eye with each turn of her head. This is really a statement look that can work for everyone!

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Isabelle Huppert shows off a dazzling ear climber. Ear climbers are something we’ve always been a fan of. One of our most popular earrings are our pearl ear climbers, which can be worn up the ear like in Isabelle’s photo, or turned downward as a dangle earring for a different statement. You can check them out in white pearls (pictured below) or black pearls.

White Freshwater Pearl Earrings

2) Layered bracelets and cuffs

A few of the stars were wearing some awesome, fashionable bracelet combos this year. Often bracelets are overlooked in favor of flashy necklaces, but we thought they definitely deserved a mention. Two big style trends we saw on the red carpet this year were layers of similar bracelets on one wrist, like Halle Berry’s (pictured below) and big, bold cuffs like the ones worn by Priyanka Chopka.

Photo by Jim Smeal/BEI/Shutterstock

The cool thing about this style is that you can make it as casual or dressy as you want. Stack delicate pearl bracelets with diamond bands or some of your other favorite gemstones for your own version of a red carpet look, or try pearls and leather or simple chain bracelets for a more casual stack. There are so many ways to showcase your own personal style with this look!

Photo by Lionel Hahn/ABACA USA/INSTARimages.com

We just love Priyanka’s look here – the symmetry of her matched cuffs and how it compliments the unique texture of her dress, and of course the statement earrings! You can click here to shop some bracelet inspiration of your own.

Are you more of a Priyanka or a Halle when it comes to bracelet style? Tell us in the comments!

3) Choker length statement necklaces

This is a timeless red carpet look but one that never fails to amaze! Rather than wearing huge, heavy necklaces, these celebrities wore statement pieces in a choker length. Their individual styles shine through here as well.

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Janelle Monae has an over-the-top look going on here – but it totally works for her! The whole outfit has the effect of making her look like something out of a fairy tale, but we can’t help to be drawn to that incredible choker.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Jessica Biel’s runway style also included an elaborate choker. This one was handcrafted by Tiffany and Co. Gorgeous!

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Alicia Vikander and Taraji P. Hensen are just two examples of dazzling diamond chokers worn at the Oscars this year. Both styles are elegant and absolutely flattering.

Look for a statement necklace of your own here!

4) Honorable mention

Pharrell Williams was killin’ it in these layered necklaces and elaborate pearl brooch, proving once and for all that pearls are for everyone!

Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage



You might also like:

Jewelry Trends from the 2016 Oscars

5 Reasons We Like Pearls Better Than Diamonds

Pearls: The Final Frontier in Men’s Fashion

October is Right-Hand Ring Month!

Freshwater Pearl Rings

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a reason to celebrate anything, any time. Especially if it’s jewelry-related! So when I found out that October is the official month for celebrating right-hand rings, I couldn’t wait to post this and tell you all about it!

How can you celebrate? First, check out our dazzling selection of rings. They will be on sale all month!

Second, post a picture of your favorite Pearls International ring on your right hand on Instagram or Facebook and tag it #OctoberRingContest for a chance to win a goodie bag! Goodie bags contain some lovely stuff to keep your rings looking great all year – our special pearl-safe cleaner, a polishing cloth, and a jeweler’s loupe (useful for checking prongs).

When tagging on Instagram – be sure to use our handle @pearlsinternational so we can find your post. Keep in mind that we won’t be able to see your image if your account is private.

The winner will be chosen via a blind drawing and announced on social media on Friday, November 4th.

 

Happy Photo-Taking!

-Pearl Girl Savannah

Summer Stylin’ – How to Accessorize that Sundress

Summer might be ending, but hot weather sure isn’t going anywhere yet. When you live in Florida like we do, you get to experience summer all year ’round. This has its high points, and its lows. With this being one of the hottest years on record, it’s almost unbearable to go outside in anything other than a sundress or your beach wear.

In conditions like these, it’s easy to end up in a bit of a fashion rut – when you only have so many summer worthy outfits in your closet, you run dangerously close to repeating your #OOTD posts on Instagram. Boring! So how to spice up your look? Accessorize, of course! We’re here to show you what to wear with all of your sundresses to brighten up your summer style.

V-Neck

This one’s easy. Wear a simple pendant that highlights the cut of your dress. Minimalist styles look best with this type of sundress, so pick a pendant that has one of the colors from your dress in it and isn’t too elaborate. Make sure not to wear a necklace that’s too long; you don’t want your pendant getting lost in your cleavage. We went for a red theme with the dress below, but you could also choose to accent the black designs with some black onyx or black spinel instead of garnet. Use the colors in your jewelry box to your advantage! The right jewelry selection can completely change the personality of your outfit and really spice up your wardrobe.

Styling a V-Neck Sundress with Pearl and Garnet Jewelry and Accessories

Get the look!:

Printed V-Neck Sundress
Red Glitter Flats
Rhodolite Garnet Pendant in Sterling Silver
Freshwater Pearl and Garnet Earrings

Crew Neck

With a crew neck dress you have a lot of possibilities. Since most of your upper body will be covered, layered necklaces look great with this style. You have to opportunity to wear jewelry that would usually detract from the rest of your outfit, and instead it complements your look! Might we suggest a pearl rope for layering? You can wear it long or double it up to make it shorter, and add a couple of your favorite pendants or other necklaces of different lengths for a trendy and personalized look.

How to style a crew neck dress and pearls

Get the look!:

Anni Coco® Dress
Shoes by Dream Paris
Leather handbag
Atlantis Collection Seahorse Pendant
White pearl rope
Pearl Studs, 10mm

Tank Cut

Tank style dresses are meant to look cool, casual, and breezy, so you don’t want to pack too much punch with your jewelry here, or else you will throw off that look. You definitely need a great pair of earrings to draw the attention back onto your face. Try on our ear climbers for size – you can wear them as a dangle or turn them upwards so they fit like an ear cuff. Balance this out with some delicate bracelets or rings to complete your look. Check out our beach-ready style below! (Pro-tip: don’t forget to remove your jewelry if you’re planning on actually going into the water.)

Style guide for a tank dress

Get the look!:

Tie-dye dress
Flip flops
Starfish tote bag
White freshwater pearl ear climbers
Blue topaz ring

Sweetheart Neckline

The sweetheart neckline is the perfect cut for showing off a choker length necklace. You can mix it up depending on the day, too. Go with a large, chunky, or sparkly necklace to make a statement or style your dress with something more delicate for a softer look. In the picture below we’ve created a more dressy look, but the same outfit would look great with more casual accessories as well!

Sweetheart dress styled with pearls and crystal accessories

Get the look!:

Pearl and crystal choker
Vintage Sundress
Spiral earrings
Sam Edelman dress sandals
Pearl cocktail ring
Satin handbag

Strapless Dress

For a strapless dress, statement earrings are the way to go! Necklaces can sometimes throw off the look of the straight neckline, and you’ll want to draw some attention up towards your face. You can personalize your look further with a trendy clutch or handbag, and a statement ring to balance out the heavy earrings. Think about what kind of themes you can you create with the jewelry and the clothes that you own: in the below example, we used black peacock pearls to compliment the peacock feather design on the shoes.

Accessorize a black strapless dress with black peacock pearls and designer shoes.

Get the look!:

Strapless Black Stretch Dress
Black Pearl Hoop Earrings
Black Peacock Pearl Ring with Crystals
Handcrafted Black Peacock Flats

 

Tell us what you think! Did you like our style edit? What fashion savvy advice do you have for staying in style in this heat?

A South Sea Pearl Necklace

What’s the deal with so many pearl colors?

A variety of pearl colors

Pearls are sometimes referred to as the world’s most colorful gem, a title they have certainly earned! Rivaled only by garnets, which are available in every color of the rainbow, pearls are known for the amazing colors they display. However, not all of these colors occur naturally. There are many treatments that are considered acceptable in the jewelry trade to enhance the color and luster of the pearls in question. At Pearls International, we offer many color enhanced freshwater pearls so that you can find a color and style that suits your own personal flair. Note that when these treatments are done correctly, they do not detract from the value of the pearl. Here are the main treatments used to prepare pearls for use in jewelry:

Polishing: While it is is not necessary to cut a pearl or polish it in the manner you think of with other gemstones, they still have their own polishing procedure they are subjected to before being drilled and prepared to sell. They are simply tumbled in a salt water solution that is just course enough to remove any build up or organic matter from the pearls. This process can also sometimes remove small surface imperfections.

Maeshori: This is a process that originated in Japanese pearl farms, meaning “Before Treatment.” It refers to a range of treatments done at the farms, including polishing. When you hear of maeshori today, it means the process by which the pearl has been heated and then cooled in order to “tighten” up the nacre´ (smooth Mother-of-Pearl substance that forms the pearl) which causes the pearl to show increased luster. This process is comparable to a person getting a facelift.

Bleaching: Many freshwater and saltwater pearls are bleached to improve the color of white pearls. Bleaching also evens out some surface flaws. A natural color white strand will show slight variances in the hues of each pearl, while a bleached strand will appear very uniform. Pearl bleaching has been practiced for over 100 years and is considered an industry standard in production of white pearls.

Dyeing: Fancy color pearls such as cranberry and bright blue or green pearls have been treated with an organic dye. Sometimes freshwater pearls are dyed to mimic the color of saltwater pearls at a much lower price. Black freshwater pearls, for example, are dyed to look like Tahitian pearls. The same is true for chocolate color freshwater pearls. Chocolate Tahitian pearls are few and far between as it is, so it is a highly desired color based on rarity. Sometimes Tahitian pearls are dyed brown to make a matched chocolate Tahitian strand, without the pearl farmers having to wait the several years it would take to create a full strand of naturally chocolate color pearls. Dyeing a pearl does not detract from the value of the jewelry as long as it is done well. If you can see blotchiness on the surface of the pearl, or if you can see the original white color around and inside of the drill hole in the pearl, it has been poorly dyed. The color should be smooth and even across the surface of the pearl. Another common practice, related to dyeing, is called “pinking” which is most commonly done on Akoya pearls to increase the rosey overtones in the nacre´. This is achieved by soaking the pearls in a diluted red dye.

Freshwater Stick Pearl Necklace
Gorgeous color treated cranberry pearl necklace featuring both round pearls and stick pearls.

Irradiation: This is a treatment most commonly applied to saltwater pearls. It is rarely seen in freshwater pearls, because the cost of this treatment usually outweighs the value. The pearl is subjected to gamma rays, which darkens the pearl. In the case of saltwater pearls, it darkens the shell bead nucleus (which is made from a freshwater mussel). Because the center of the pearl has been darkened, the layers of nacre´ covering the pearl appear darker because of how the light refracts on the surface of the pearl, allowing you to see the nucleus underneath. The thicker the layers of nacre´ (so, the larger the pearl) the harder it is to see. Saltwater pearls treated in this manner will usually become silvery or gunmetal grey in color, not black. Freshwater pearls treated with irradiation will become very dark and it is a good way to get black freshwater pearls with high luster. It’s important to note that these pearls are not radioactive, and therefore are completely safe to wear and enjoy.

There are a couple of other treatments that some pearl farms may choose to do, but these are the most common and most acceptable in the pearl industry.

So, how can you tell if your pearls are a natural color or an enhanced color? Certain types of pearls are available in a range of natural colors. All others not listed are dyed or otherwise enhanced for fashion.

Akoya Pearls: Japanese Akoya pearls are one of the most popular pearl types on the market, and are the most obtainable saltwater pearls. They come in white and cream, with rose, silver, or gold overtones. They are also sometimes seen in a stunning silver-blue color, although these are very rare.

Graduated white akoya pearl necklace
Beautiful graduated white akoya pearl necklace.

South Sea Pearls: These rare treasures are available in white and gold, with the darkest golden pearls being considered the most valuable.

A South Sea Pearl Necklace
A multicolor south sea pearl necklace, showing the varying shades of gold and white these pearls naturally occur in.

Tahitian Pearls: One of the most sought after saltwater varieties of pearls, Tahitian pearls are prized for their dark color and ‘peacock’ overtones, although they can occasionally be found in chocolate as well. Most Tahitian pearls lean towards silver or grey rather than true “black.” (As in jet black, which is an unnatural color.) Pinctada margaritifera, the oyster that produces these gorgeous pearls, also produces their cousin, Fiji Pearls. Fiji Pearls are truly the most colorful pearl in the world, and one of the rarest. Because the waters they are farmed in are so nutrient-dense, they come in a rainbow of colors including the traditional blacks and greys, as well as bronze and gold.

Black Tahitian Pearls
Black peacock Tahitian Pearls

Sea of Cortez Pearls: As only one pearl farm is currently culturing these pearls, Sea of Cortez pearls are the most rare. They are also never enhanced to improve their color, so you know that if you purchase a Sea of Cortez pearl, it is unaltered by man once it leaves the oyster. Their colors are similar to those shown in black peacock Tahitian pearls, although they are somewhat more bold and rich in color than the Tahitians are.

Sea of Cortez Pearls
Pearls from the Sea of Cortez, produced from the Rainbow-Lipped Oyster

PS – You can click here to read more about the amazing Sea of Cortez and Tahitian black peacock pearls mentioned above!

Freshwater Pearls: Making up the bulk of the pearl market, most pearls you will come across while pearl shopping are freshwater. They take the least amount of time and effort from the pearl farmers to produce, and are cultured in several places around the world from a few different species of freshwater clams. These pearls naturally come in white and cream, as well as pastel colors such as peach, lavender, and pink. Any unusually dark or very brightly colored freshwater pearls are typically dyed.

Multicolor Freshwater Pearl Bracelet
Naturally occurring pastel color freshwater pearls, strung together in a bracelet.

When in doubt, a reputable company should always be honest with you about the jewelry you are buying – just ask!

Sources:

http://www.jewellerytechnology.com/education/Treatment_done_on_Pearls.php
http://www.pearl-guide.com/forum/content.php?92-Pearl-Treatments
http://www.professionaljeweler.com/archives/articles/1998/sep98/0998fys2.html
http://www.pearlsofjoy.com/Pearl-Colors_ep_45-1.html
http://www.pearlblogger.com/?p=137
http://www.purepearls.com/pearl-colors.html

When Life Hands You Oysters…

…shuck ’em. You just might find a pearl!

heart in the sand

So you didn’t get exactly what you wanted for Valentine’s Day. No need to whine or complain! Put any hurt feelings away, along with the jumper cables in the pink tote bag that he lovingly presented to you over a beer at the local sports bar.

This is your perfect opportunity to plan your pre-gift strategy for the next big holiday!

Empower your man by providing a little road map to your heart. You can either tell him outright what you really want, or just drop a couple of hints to steer him in the right direction (check out the “Send a Nudge” buttons on our site, for example!). Tell him about Pearls International’s dazzling jewelry!

Just a few pieces of our jaw-dropping pearl jewelry!
Just a few pieces of our jaw-dropping pearl jewelry!

You can choose a stunning gift for yourself from our endless selection of beautiful jewelry and put it on our registry! Tell him about your wish list and let him be the hero! We have Pearl Girls standing by just waiting for your guy to come by or call so we can skillfully guide him to make just the right purchase for you!


You’ll be happy that you got what you really wanted and he will feel like a million bucks! (Not to mention he’ll be thrilled with the stress-free shopping experience, the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and the FREE Shipping on orders over $99!) It’s a win-win situation!

Valentine’s Day is over, but there are endless opportunities for you to ever-so-selflessly empower your man to make the right choices. 😉 Is your birthday coming up? If not, no worries, the anniversary of something or other is always right around the corner. Hint away!

We at Pearls International believe in the power of the pearl.  We also believe that there is no better place to find it than at Pearls International Jewelers. Check out our website or stop by to experience the power of the pearl!

Note for the Guys: Jumper cable idea went over like a lead balloon? Still in the doghouse about the vacuum cleaner? Better give us a call at 386.767.3473. We can help.

Rose Quartz and Serenity

Bold Color Choices From Pantone for 2016!

For the first time ever, Pantone has announced not one but two colors of the year! Rose Quartz and Serenity, chosen for their gentle, soft nature, are meant to be paired together. Pantone says the color choice challenges traditional perceptions of color association.

Inspired by society’s change towards gender equality and the younger generation’s boldness and tendency to be less concerned about stereotypes and judgement, this duo is a bold choice.

While Rose Quartz is meant to instill a sense of compassion, warmth, and composure, Serenity adds balance with it’s cooler, peaceful tone.

How to wear it?

Together, of course! Try a Rose Quartz top with one of our blue quartz and pearl necklaces with white gold to add a splash of sparkle.

White Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Blue Quartz

Rose Quartz and Serenity also pair well with all shades of yellow and pink, as well as greens, purples, and deep brown shades, according to Pantone’s recommendations.

Lillac Freshwater Pearl Pendant With Crystal Elements

Why not check out our peach, pink, and lavender pearl jewelry for some more Rose Quartz-inspired styles?


How often should I restring my pearls?

This is one of the most common questions we are asked around the shop. Fortunately, it’s really easy to answer! All you need to do is take a look at your strand. If you look closely, you’ll see teeny-tiny knots in between each pearl.

Knotted

These knots are very important. They act as a bit of an insurance policy in the event that your strand snags on something and breaks– rather than make you go crawling under tables at a fancy restaurant chasing runaway pearls, the knots prevent the pearls from slipping off the strand.

These little knots also protect your beautiful pearls from each other, preventing them from rubbing against their neighbors and developing excessive wear.

Inspect your knots regularly. You may notice them begin to darken after some time, this indicates that they are absorbing oils, dirt, and moisture as you wear them. These micro-particles of dirt can weaken the fibers of your strand over time, not to mention the dark knots can distract from the beauty of the piece.

If your knots begin to fray or loosen between pearls, it’s time to have your necklace restrung, as the fibers are beginning to weaken.

Of course, you can always have your necklace restrung any time you’d like to reimagine your piece! You can add in beautiful gemstones, crystals, or beads to update your look, or even turn a long strand into a double stranded piece of wearable art!

At Pearls International, it’s very easy to have your necklace restrung. We charge $1 per knot, and if you’d like to replace your clasp, we have a wide variety of beautiful options for you to choose from. You can even have old, dull pearls individually hand-polished to their original shine!

The quickest way to know how much you will spend on restringing your necklace is to simply count the number of pearls (and therefore knots) you have on your strand. We’ve made up this handy chart to make it easier. 

Restring my pearls

Stop by Pearls International Jewelers today to have your pearls professionally restrung by a master artisan!

LIKE BEING FIRST?

Get the latest style news and offers from Pearls International before everybody else does.
Your privacy is our priority. We will never share or sell your information.

Pearls For Halloween!

Pearls are always appropriate.

-Jackie Kennedy

We couldn’t agree more! So why not incorporate your favorite gem into your Halloween costume? Here are some fun ways to wear pearls to that costume party you got invited to!

1) Imitate one of your favorite “pearl girls” in history and pop culture! Here are some examples:

Audrey Hepburn in her iconic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” outfit.

Audrey Hepburn

One of Rihanna’s many pearl looks!

Rihanna with her pearl glasses. Rihanna in layered pearls.

Rihanna layered real and faux pearls for her runway look – you could do the same for your statement costume!

Some other icons known to rock the pearl look: Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Coco Chanel, Lucille Ball, and Lady Gaga. Get creative!

2) 1920’s Flapper

Flapper costumes are easy, fun, and beautiful! Enjoy a store-bought version or do-it-yourself!


Flapper Halloween Costume Flapper Halloween Costume DIY 1920's Flapper

Rope Necklaces
Don’t have a pearl rope? Click here to check out our gorgeous selection of ropes you can wear all year long!

 

3) The Silent Movie Actress

This one is great for DIY by yourself or with a partner! Dress in all black and white, paint your face so you look pale, add some bold, black make-up, don your favorite pearl strand, and carry a sign with your “lines” on it!

Silent Movie Costumes

4) Mermaid

Why wouldn’t a beautiful sea creature wear pearls?! Incorporate pearl necklaces and ocean-inspired jewelry into your store-bought mermaid costume, or glue faux pearls to your DIY top.

Atlantis Collection Sterling Silver Jewelry

Or try a combination of both! This one has endless possibilities. Here are some pictures for inspiration. (Including one by Kim Kardashian!)

Mermaid costume with pearl necklace Mermaid with Pearl Necklace Kim K's gorgeous mermaid Halloween costume DIY Mermaid Top

5) Wilma Flintstone

Bet you didn’t think of this one! We didn’t forget Wilma’s love for her chunky pearl necklace. For extra fun, dress the whole family up as Flintstones!

Wilma Flintstone Costume

 

6) Dr. Frank N. Furter

If you’ve ever seen Rocky Horror Picture Show, you know Tim Curry’s character rocks a very…um…unforgettable look. This one is fun for the girls, and for the guys (if they’re bold enough!)

Here are some photos that are slightly more modest than his movie version. Either way, you’re sure to be the life of the party!

Tim Curry In The Rocky Horror Picture Show DIY Frank N. Furter Costume for Ladies Men's Dr. Frank N Furter Costume

What do you think of our list? Are you daring enough to try any of them this coming Halloween? Have another festive pearl look you think we may have forgotten? Tell us in the comments!


Tahitian Pearls

Choosing the Perfect Pearl – Your Guide to Making an Informed Decision.

While much of the process of choosing pearls is subjective, and depends on the wearer’s taste, there are a few questions to ask that will ensure that the pearls you choose will be of the highest quality. Just like diamonds have their “4C’s”, pearls have common properties that should be considered as you shop.

 Color

A pearl’s color is more a matter of personal taste than one of quality, but naturally colored pearls will typically weather trends and fads better than those that have been artificially dyed. Beware especially bright or garish pearls, as these are almost certainly the result of manmade color processes and the dye can be prone to fading or even wearing off onto skin or clothing. Strong colors may sometimes indicate a lower-quality pearl, as the dye may have been used to disguise unsightly color variations in the surface of the pearl.

Pearl Colors

Orient and Overtone

There are very small differences between orient and overtone. The orient of a pearl is the beautiful iridescent shimmer of color that spreads across its surface. Often, this causes a ‘rainbow’ effect on the surface of the pearl. This color is not the same as the color of the pearl itself, but the iridescence that may seem to dance and move across the pearl as you turn it. In contrast, the overtone of a pearl is the secondary impression of color from a pearl as it is viewed against a white background. For example, a black pearl may seem to have a subtle blush of green. This color, unlike the orient, does not shimmer, but may differ depending on which side of the pearl is viewed, due to the refraction of light within the pearl.

Examples of Overtone on a White Pearl

Overtone on White Pearl

Examples of Overtone on a Black Pearl

Overtone on Black Pearl

Black Pearls Displaying Excellent Orient

Black Pearls with Excellent Orient

Size

The larger the pearl, the longer it had to remain in the oyster’s shell, and as a result, these are usually more costly. Very large pearls are a rarity, due to the cost of producing them. Consider that the oysters must be kept healthy and safe from predators, parasites, and destruction of their natural habitat for several years while the pearl is allowed to form. Additionally, the extra time in the shell increases the likelihood of blemishes forming on the pearl as small imperfections in the nacre are magnified as they are coated. Flawless pearls of a large size will command very high prices.

Pearl Size

Surface

Surface indicates the perfection of the exterior of the pearl itself. Higher quality surfaces have very few marks, bumps, ripples, or blemishes, indicating that the oyster was very well cared-for during the cultivation process. Pearls that show little to no variation in their surfaces will typically cost more than those with a few marks here and there.

Pearl Surface

Regularity

Regularity refers to the shape of a pearl. The more spherical the pearl, the more regular it is said to be. No pearl is perfectly round, but some come close to being spherical. The best pearls are typically smooth and even. Do not pay for a pearl that is absolutely spherical and has no defining marks unless it is certified, as these are probably synthetic, and therefore of low value.

Pearl Regularity

Luster

A pearl’s luster, or shine, is determined by the layers of ‘nacre,’ the substance pearls are made of, that coats its central nucleus. Usually, more nacre results in higher luster. The surface curvature of a pearl can also have an effect on the luster, as light passes through the delicate outer layers and refracts off of the aragonite crystals in the pearl, giving the pearl its signature glow. This causes the highly desirable translucent appearance that very fine pearls display.

Pearl Luster

Authenticity

A genuine pearl will typically show minor variations in shape, color, and surface. Truly perfect pearls are rarely real, but may be simply convincing fakes. One way to test their authenticity (although this test can be fooled) is to gently rub the pearl on the edge of your tooth. Genuine pearls will feel very slightly gritty, due to their crystalline structure, while faux pearls and glass pearls will feel smooth and silky. The exception to this rule is composite, or “shell” pearls, which are created by grinding low-quality pearls into a powder and then reconstituting them using epoxy or acrylic. Due to their nacre content, these will feel gritty to the teeth, but since they are usually perfectly round, they are easy to spot and avoid.

Real vs Shell Pearl

Other fake pearl types to look out for:

  • Plastic: Ultra-shiny, easy to chip the paint. Very lightweight. Usually unknotted. Smooth to the tooth.
  • Glass: Higher quality, usually knotted in between and heavy. Look for paint flaking near the drill-holes. Smooth to the tooth.
  • Mallorca: A specific variety of glass pearl, very high quality and usually difficult to identify. The paint is very similar in luster to real pearls, but if on a strand, will be perfectly uniform. Smooth to the tooth.

Check out our post on Real vs. Faux pearls for more info on Authenticity!

LIKE BEING FIRST?

Get the latest style news and offers from Pearls International before everybody else does.
Your privacy is our priority. We will never share or sell your information.

How Can I Tell if My Pearls are Real? Ten Quick Tips.

Pearls International only carries genuine cultured freshwater and saltwater pearls, but with so many convincing fakes on the market, how can you tell if the pearls you got somewhere else are the genuine article?

Today recently broke a story about dishonest salesmen in destination spots like Cozumel who duped their customers into purchasing jewelry that wasn’t real. We wanted to take a moment to help educate our customers and readers about how you can avoid scams like this on your vacation and protect yourself from people who don’t have your best interests in mind.

First, always ask for recommendations at your hotel or with a local resident you trust. Most people aren’t going to shop at a jeweler who is hidden down some dark alleyway, but it’s always a good idea to be smart about where you spend your money.

Satisfaction Guarantee SealSecond, ask about their return policy. If you get home to discover that an item you thought was gold instead turned out to be gold plate, at least you’ll know how to get your money back. Pearls International offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee with easy returns and exchanges. If you ever purchase the wrong size or color with us, we’ll happily and enthusiastically make it right.

So what if you’ve already made a purchase, and you’re wondering whether you got your money’s worth? Or maybe you’ve inherited some jewelry and you’re thinking of selling it, but don’t want to risk taking it to a pawn shop or a gold-buyer without knowing what it’s worth?


It’s always a good idea to have a jeweler you trust take a look at a new piece to validate its authenticity. At Pearls International, we’ll even give you a free jeweler’s loupe that you can use to look at the metal hallmarks in your jewelry, and they’re also very useful for doing annual checks on prongs to prevent your stones from getting lost!

If you don’t have time to bring your jewelry to an expert, there are several things you can do at home to find out if your pearls are real.

Are my pearls real? Ten things to look for:

Tip: It’s best to start with a clean strand so you can identify small details that might be missed due to a buildup of oils or perfumes on the surface of your pearls. If you need to find out how to clean your pearls, check out this tutorial or use our specially created pearl-safe cleaner.

Pearl Juice
Normal gold and silver cleaners are acidic and can damage your pearls. Use a pearl-friendly cleaner like our Pearl Juice to avoid damaging your pearls. It is best to start with a clean strand when determining if your pearls are the real deal.

[dropcap2]1[/dropcap2]Real pearls are heavier than fake pearls. Imagine you are holding a strand of little pebbles. Would your strand be about the same weight? If not, you might be holding some pearl impostors. The nacre that makes up the layers of a real pearl is very dense, so it will weigh quite a bit more than plastic or resin, two common materials used in many fake pearls. Beware! Some materials such as glass and composite, or ‘shell’ pearls (pearls made from crushed and reconstituted shell) may fool this test.

[dropcap2]2[/dropcap2]If your pearls are heavy, but you still suspect they may be false, chipped or cracking paint is a sure sign that your pearls are fakes. To find it, look carefully between two pearls at a drill hole. If you notice any paint is missing, or if the material from inside the pearl formed a ‘burr’ when the pearl was drilled, your pearls are probably fake. Real pearls will have a drill hole that is quite smooth and doesn’t show any chipping (unless it has been mishandled). If in doubt, ask an expert.

Chipped Pearl Paint

[dropcap2]3[/dropcap2]Real pearls on a strand will never be perfectly matched. Since no two pearls are identical in nature, look for minor variation in color and shape that indicate your pearls are authentic. You may need to look very closely, as high quality strands will be well matched. However, the differences will be there! 

[dropcap2]4[/dropcap2] Size matters. Are your pearls enormous and perfectly spherical? If you paid a comically tiny price for your comically huge pearls, it’s very likely that they are fake. In nature, the longer a pearl remains within an oyster’s shell, the more likely it is to develop imperfections like dents and divots. As a result, pearls of a very large size can be extremely valuable. If your pearls fit this description, it’s likely you have a strand of shell pearls.

[dropcap2]5[/dropcap2] Knots are important! Real pearls will be individually knotted on a silk or microfiber strand. These knots are crucial to the longevity of your pearls. In addition to preventing each pearl from rubbing against its neighbor, the knots also protect against the loss of more than a couple of pearls, should your strand get caught on something and break. Many high-quality fakes will be knotted (such as Mallorca Pearls), but they are easy to identify when you know what to look for.


Tip: If your strand is knotted, take note of the condition of the knots. Are they frayed or discolored? Is there space between the knots and the pearls? If so, you may need to have your strand restrung to prevent breakage. Pearls International offers restringing for $1/knot. Contact us if you’d like to get more information about our jewelry repair services.

Knotted vs. Unknotted Pearls[dropcap2]6[/dropcap2]If your pearls have unusual coloring, they may be fake. While some real pearls are dyed for fashion or to cover up unsightly surface imperfections, good-quality pearls usually stick to colors that appear in nature. Your favorite chartreuse strand might not be the real thing, but feel free to rock that look if it suits you! To learn more about color treatments in pearls, check out this post.

[dropcap2]7[/dropcap2] The temperature of your pearls can give you some hints. Real pearls often feel cool to the touch and will quickly warm to your body’s temperature when worn. Fake pearls will feel much more close to room temperature when you first pick them up.

[dropcap2]8[/dropcap2] Do your pearls look like soldiers in a row? If they are perfectly uniform without any differences or imperfections, it’s very likely that they were manufactured. Real pearls are born in the sea, so they grow up getting rolled around by wind and waves, and as a result, they are never, never perfect. Even ’round’ pearls will show small lumps and bumps and minor imperfections in the nacre. In the pearls of utmost quality, these may not be visible without a loupe, but they are still there. Don’t worry — these are signs that your pearl came from nature!

Pearl Shape

[dropcap2]9[/dropcap2]Genuine pearls appear more ‘glowy’ than ‘shiny’. Look at your pearls under natural light. Real pearls are made from layer upon layer of a material called ‘nacre’. These layers are translucent, and reflect light in such a way that a real pearl appears to have an inner glow that is almost impossible to recreate with artificial methods. If your pearls appear harsh or have an unusual brassy or metallic appearance, they may be fake.

Graduated white akoya pearl necklace
Genuine Akoya Pearls from Pearls International – this exquisite strand shows you a real life example of the ‘glowy’ quality mentioned above. Faux pearls can appear more metallic.

[dropcap2]10[/dropcap2]Last but not least, one of the best methods for determining if your pearls are genuine is the ‘tooth test’. Real pearls have microscopic crystalline structures, not unlike fingerprints. Every pearl has its own structure, but fake pearls do not have this unique characteristic. As a result, if you hold one pearl between your thumb and index finger, then gently rub the pearl on one of your teeth (this only works with real teeth, not veneers or dental implants), you will feel a slight ‘gritty’ texture, as if you are rubbing sand on your tooth. Fake pearls will feel perfectly smooth. Note: Shell pearls, due to the powdered nacre they contain, may feel gritty. Ask your jeweler to identify them for you.

Now you know!

We hope these tips helped you determine if your pearls are real or fake. Still not sure? Drop by and we can take a look for you, or you can send your pearls to us at the address below. Be sure to include your name, phone number and a return address with your package!

Pearls International
3114 So. Atlantic Avenue
Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118