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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member multichrome's Avatar
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    Default What kind of imitations might these be?

    Hi, again. I hope I’m not hogging the board too much. I’ve had a lot of “pearl mail” this week! I received these today, sold as vintage imitation pearls. I’m mainly wondering what material they may be made of. The clasp says 1980s to me. They aren’t like my glass pearls—they’re not slick at all. They provide some resistance to the tooth test, but I can’t say they are truly gritty, except for the pearl mounted on the clasp. They show no damage and are rosy-creamy after their gentle bath. I would love any input you could give me. Strand is 32”, and the beads are 8mm in diameter. I believe the clasp is sterling—I can test it later. They are quite heavy/substantial in the hand. I’m looking forward to wearing them. Thank you all, and have a great weekend!

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  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    They look like unbranded imitation glass pearls, from the photos. If you are in doubt about their actually being imitation, being able to look at the surface with a loupe may help.

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member multichrome's Avatar
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    They look smooth under the loupe.

    I guess they don’t look like glass pearls I’ve had before. I wondered if they might be made from another type of non-pearl material.

    I wasn’t sure where to put my question. If there’s a more appropriate place I’ll gladly relocate it!

    I’m a collector and restorer of vintage jewelry, but a pearl newbie. I’m very grateful for any and all input!
    Last edited by multichrome; 09-06-2019 at 10:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Smooth under the loupe, resistant with tooth test, and fully round?
    Even my Majoricas look coarse under the loupe (but less coarse than some of my cheaper imitations) and they feel smooth when rubbed together (tooth test).

    I saw a large round "pearl" silver ring at T J Maxx a few years ago, price about $35. I pulled out my loupe and took a look. It looked smooth! I can only assume it was fake at that price point, but it must have had some sort of coating that made the surface look smooth on magnification. It wasn't a FWP-- Edisons cost more than that, and the only bead-nuked FWP showing up at T J Maxx in those days were the heavily blemished ripples.

    So... maybe you have a strand of fake pearls with some sort of coating. The coating could make them feel a bit grippy when rubbed together.

    Have you examined near the drill holes for some of the telltale signs they are fake? Cheaper fakes may have beveled holes, larger holes than real pearls do, or swirls of excess coating near the holes. There may be flaking of coating also. The better fakes may not show any of these signs.

    If they are not completely round, reconsider whether they are fwp and more recent than 1980s. Clasps can be changed.

  5. #5
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member multichrome's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for responding again! They don’t have any beveled holes or large holes or uneven coating. There are no flakes anywhere.

    I’m going to look at them again under my lighted loupe to see the surface texture more clearly.

    They are very round.

    Thank you for reminding me how clasps can migrate from one necklace to another. The clasp looks very similar to one on a 1974 Akoya strand that I have. That is one reason I bought them—for the clasp.

    I find them kind of mystifying. I REALLY appreciate your time and comments!

    Cece.

  6. #6
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Are there any sort of blemishes at all? If so can you take a close up shot of a few of them?

  7. #7
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member multichrome's Avatar
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    Yes! I will do that right now. We have sunshine today!

  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member multichrome's Avatar
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    I just took all these photos in natural light. I tried to get some images of the edges of the pearls. Some of the blemishes are clearly dings from wear. I hope the pics are helpful. Thank you again!

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  9. #9
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I see a few marks in photos 2 and 3 but it's hard to make them out at that distance. Can you zoom in on a few of the blemishes, very close up but in focus.

  10. #10
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member multichrome's Avatar
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    I don’t have the ability to take better macro shots at the moment. I can crop pics I‘ve already taken, though, to try and show more detail. When I have time, maybe it would be best to take them to a jeweler friend of Mr. Multichrome and let him take a gander at them, if there’s a possibility that they are genuine.

    I appreciate your time and effort, PD.

    —Cece

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  11. #11
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I'm leaning toward saying they are imitation but by all means take them to your jeweler friend.

  12. #12
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    The reflections seem so identical that imitation is also the way I am leaning. Also the color seems a bit too dark for cultured pearls. The weight might indicate a glass bead center. I imagine there are/were a number of recipes for making the pearlized finish. Perhaps you'd "smash" a pearl when you restring and satisfy our curiosity? Yep, some of us love "smashing" from time to time! I put the pearl or bead in a plastic bag first.
    Pattye


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  13. #13
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member multichrome's Avatar
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    I was thinking of smashing or slicing one! My curiosity has really got a hold of me. It’s 32”, so I won’t restring immediately, but I may do it a lot sooner now. Thank you for your input!

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