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  • Fireballs

    Dear all,

    Hi, I am new here. Well not really, have been reading and learning from all of you for a long time! I almost feel that I know many of you. So thanks right away for the opportunity to learn so much about pearls!

    Now I have a question to you: Yesterday I purchased a long necklace of glorious silvery white large fireballs from the peal section at local department store (I am in Germany), which cost 79 Euros (approx. 100 USD) - was marked down from 200 Euros (approx. 270 USD). Today, upon inspecting them a bit closer, I did the "tooth test" and they are very smooth, not gritty like all my other pearls. I do not believe they are fakes, as I chose one of 5 different strands and all the pearls were different, no two alike. The lady at the store even showed me a sample pearl cut in half, to see how they look inside. So I scratched a bit harder on one of the peals close to the clasp, and they are coated with a clear iridescent "plastic?". It seems to me that under the plastic they look very much the same as through the coat, so no nasty surprise, but under the coat they are not gritty either. So is this normal? What kind of treatment is this? They do look great and weren't very expensive, but one does wonder.

    Thanks for your help


  • #2
    Welcome to Pearl Guide!

    We can give you a definite answer once you post photos of the pearls. In the meantime, I'll venture that you have "coated pearls". Do they look like this? (Pardon the lack of sharpness. I took these on the sly.)

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    Under the tab of Pearl Education, there is an article discussing such a treatment.

    Using Coating In Pearl Treatments
    Coating a pearl to enhance its luster is not widely practiced and is greatly frowned upon. This coating is equivalent to a coat of clear nail polish. Although the luster may appear to be fine, the coating may eventually chip or peel, leaving a low-luster pearl visible beneath the surface. This is a treatment to watch for, as dishonest pearl dealers have passed these pearls on to unsuspecting consumers in the past.
    I do understand the appeal of coated pearls. They are very pretty; you'll get lots of compliments, so make the most of yours. Enjoy!


    • #3
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      Thank you!
      Coated pearls - wow, never heard of this. I guess that is what I have. But shouldn't they be gritty under the coating? They are not.
      I tried to upload a picture, don't know if it worked.
      Thanks again.


      • #4
        I am wondering if this coating is used in pearl brands marketed for mid level department stores. A certain brand "C" I won't name the brand, but the 4 strands I have looked at are a lovely mixed, baroques and ovals, and are labeled Freshwater Pearls. It passes the tooth test grit, luster is good, but the price is very low and on sale very very low. I have been wondering what they really are. I will read the Pearl Education Treatments. Good post - Floridapearl.


        • #5
          Hello, I am new to the Forum, but I have also seen these coated pearls.

          I have a pearl supplier based in Germany, and she showed me a sample strand of these coated pearls to serve as a warning. They were stunning, but too uniform in colour to pass for real and felt odd to the touch.

          I would agree that yours are rather lovely.
          Isis Pearls


          • #6
            No matter how metallic, each (uncoated) fireball has unique flaws. I've never had to do a tooth test on one, but I agree with Isis Pearls. Coated pearls are too uniform in color and tone, and to the touch, feel rubbery.

            At least, you can wear yours in the water without fear! They've already got their wetsuits on!


            • #7
              Originally posted by cyndayco View Post
              At least, you can wear yours in the water without fear! They've already got their wetsuits on!
              LOL!!! That is too funny!


              • #8
                I will have to watch out for these; not likely to purchase in error, but certainly curious to see in person. Lots of gemstones are being coated these days with proper disclosure..



                SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----


                • #9
                  "Wetsuit" Hilarious !!!!!!


                  • #10
                    I want to see any of our customers doing the tooth test on our necklaces in store
                    Ringcraft Moana
                    Jewellery Design Studio


                    • #11
                      I wonder how long it will take for the coating to be coloured or to have a faux orient as well. The faux orient sounds dreadful but just look at mystic topaz and similar coated stones. Nothing at all natural looking but some people really enjoy them.
                      Contemporary Jewelry by Beatriz Fortes
                      My blog


                      • #12
                        Last Disdain, the ones I photographed do have a faux orient! It had a metallic peach body color with a rose orient.( I'll post the photo once I find it. )

                        The effect was striking but a tad garish for those with more classic tastes.