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Tips and tricks

Pearls are too soft to cut or be polished like other gems, so matching can never be perfect. The pearl's surface, whist tough, is also porous and therefore subject to injury by acids and heat. Therefore, perfume should always be applied before wearing of your pearls. As organic products, they are also subject to decay, it is therefore important to buy the pearls with the thickest nacre.

Caring for your Pearls

The number one care tip we can give is that you must always remember that your pearls are organic and soft in gem terms. the surface of Nacre can be worn-down with constant rubbing or by chemical reaction to perfumes and creams.

Put your perfume on first before your pearls, hand cream before your rings etc.

After use wipe with a soft damp cloth.

Store your pearls in the boxes or pouches provided when you bought them, don't let them rub up against harder jewels in a drawer or box.

Periodically inspect and replace if necessary the 'string'. All strands should be double knotted in case of accidental breakage, (you will not loose all of your pearls in the string).

Pearl Tips & Tricks

There are acceptable pearl enhancements as well as unacceptable enhancements. Here are a few

Tips

"Tooth Test"

When rubbed across the teeth, real pearls feel gritty while imitation pearls feel smooth.

"Temperature Test"

Genuine pearls when touched on the skin will feel cool

"Appearance"

It is a little hard to tell the difference between genuine Cultured Pearls and 'Good' fakes simply with the eyes. However, true cultured pearls have a depth to the surface giving a layered effect that reflects the light in a rainbow like look. Fakes are often "too good to be true" with mirror like surfaces and not a blemish anywhere to be seen, of course this could be a genuine pearl in which case the price will soon tell you, if you are dealing with a reputable source. In many respects it is better to see those natural imperfection like dents, ridges, mis-shape and imprints, this points to the origin of the pearl as from Mother Nature not Mans hands.

Tricks

Setting three-quarter or half pearls into jewellery pieces and selling them as whole pearls. Fully round pearls are far more valuable than those that are semispherical.

Adding a lacquer coating to a pearl to increase its luster. If you are suspicious about a shiny topcoat, try the "tooth test".

Using epoxy to fill pits and then coating the filling with pearlesence. (compare to body filler in a car repair)

Selling imitation pearls as real pearls. The simple tooth test should spot the difference. Pearls sold as "Majorca pearls", "Atlas Pearls," or "Kultured Pearls" are all imitation pearls.

Selling cultured pearls as natural pearls. Assume that all pearls are cultured pearls due to the scarcity of the natural pearl. Price, Provenance and an x-ray test result should back up a natural claim