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  • Help me to identify the beads! Thanks

    Hello.
    Thank you for the opportunity to use the forum!
    I need help to determine if the beads are authentic. It's about 48 cm long with the clasp. and they are hand knotted gold champagne color on silk. Thank you in advance for any reply!

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  • #2
    Hi Shem150, and welcome to Pearl-Guide.

    Immediate first impression: they look like imitation pearls to me. They are very uniform.

    But to be sure, do these tests:

    1. Gently rub one pearl against another. Genuine nacre is a bit gritty/resistant to this motion, while imitation pearl-like coatings will be glide more smoothly. However, grime can make the pearls a bit gummy/resistant. If you feel resistance, try giving them a gentle bath in warm soapy water and test again after they are dry.

    2. Examine near the drill holes. Often there is excess coating built up near the drill holes (although not always, not with better imitations.)
    Also, if the coating has peeled off anywhere, you may be able to see the glass bead underneath.

    3. If you have a loupe, look at the surface. Real nacre is very smooth at 10x magnification, while imitation pearl coating will look a bit coarser, a little like orange peel.
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 08-13-2016, 03:39 AM. Reason: typo

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    • #3
      You are right, They are imitation but I was not completely sure. Thank you for helping me put this to rest! I have another one -can you please help me with them? Someone told me they are real. However, I'm still confused. It's a pearl necklace from around the mid-1950's. It's long and it has no clasp. Each pearl is about 10mm and necklace over 25 inches. I have attached a close-up photo. Thank you.

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      • #4
        Shem, Please give us a few more photos of this 2nd necklace. And take a close look at the pearl in the photo that appears to have peeling nacre~do you see it? Near the top of the photo. The holes seem to be quite large also, which may indicate imitation baroque pearls, too.
        Are there stories that go with these necklaces? Many women treasured their imitation pearls from that era as if they were "real" cultured pearls. I know my Mother did!
        Pattye


        PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

        facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

        SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pattye View Post
          Shem, Please give us a few more photos of this 2nd necklace. And take a close look at the pearl in the photo that appears to have peeling nacre~do you see it? Near the top of the photo. The holes seem to be quite large also, which may indicate imitation baroque pearls, too.
          Are there stories that go with these necklaces? Many women treasured their imitation pearls from that era as if they were "real" cultured pearls. I know my Mother did!
          Thank you for the input! I checked it and itís not peeling. Each has very high luster, different luminescence and high sheen. More images are attached. Can imitation produce this type of pure luster?



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          • #6
            How do you know it is from the 1950s? A bit of background could be helpful.

            Here's the thing: If they date back to the 1950s they would be akoyas if they were real cultured pearls.

            But 10mm is the high end for akoya size (and therefore high end for price), and the odds of finding a 25" strand of all large akoya pearls like that (not graduated at all, uniform size)-- and with no clasp-- well, I think it's very unlikely. If they are actually that old, they are highly likely to be imitations. And yes, imitations can be very shiny.

            Also, the color is so very uniform and I don't see any overtones, as I would expect to see on genuine akoyas. Baroque pearls would also be likely to show orient-- rainbow colors due to refraction of light through the layers of nacre. I don't see that in the photos.

            Did you try rubbing one pearl on another?
            Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 08-13-2016, 04:05 AM.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the reply! Most of them are over 10mm but there are some over 12mm as well. Even if they are Akoya or whatever they are, I still like them because of their high silvery luster and they have some overtones. See the image.

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              Last edited by Shem150; 08-13-2016, 04:50 AM.

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              • #8
                I'm sorry, I do not think they are real cultured pearls, and with the sizes you are saying they are-- 12mm-- they would not be akoyas. I've seen lots of imitation baroque pearls.

                But even imitation pearls can be fun-- I own a number of imitation strands.

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                • #9
                  I agree, they look like faux pearls. I would wash em, re-string em and enjoy wearing em

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