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  1. #1

    Default What kind of black pearls do I have?

    Hi all,
    You have helped me identify pearls in the past, and I am back again with a new strand I need help on. I got them in an estate lot, so I have no background on them at all. The clasp is a simple filigree in 14k yellow gold with a maker's mark FIC. They are all pretty uniform in size, 7mm but the colors are varying widely. I have included many pics for you to look at. Thanks for any and all help!!

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  2. #2


    I just got done inspecting the hole, and inside I can see layers of lighter color and then darker color. I can see 2-3 bands of lighter color with dark in between, but can't see any further than that. It is VERY hard to see in these holes because I just can't get the light to shine deeply in and light really doesn't shine through the pearl like with white pearls. Plus they are very tightly knotted and I don't want to stretch the cord.

  3. #3
    Pearlista Senior Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Oceanside, CA


    Dyed freshwater cultured pearls, but they are nicely done. Great for Fall and Winter wear.

  4. #4


    Thanks, how do you know they are freshwater. I'm not doubting, just wondering how I can differentiate in the future.

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    I agree they are dyed FWP.

    One does learn through experience, after seeing many, many pearls. However, it's also the case that the size and colors of that strand are more what you see with dyed FWP than with Tahitians. Also, it's uncommon for a Tahitian strand to be a straight size...they tend to be a little more graduated-- for example, a difference of 1-2mm (or more) from the smallest to the largest pearls in a strand is common.

    Sometimes eggy shapes give lower quality FWP away, but those look more or less round. I agree that it's a nice strand. Enjoy them!
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 09-08-2020 at 12:37 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #6


    Again thank you! I probably won't be wearing them myself as I prefer longer necklaces, but am glad to have a good ID on them and to learn a bit in the process. It seems so hard to get good information about pearls online. I researched and researched, and I really thought they were saltwater due to the coloration and imperfections. I'm glad I came here to ask!!!

  7. #7
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    You may wish to read Renee Newman's excellent book, Pearl Buying Guide: How to Identify and Evaluate Pearls-- a valuable resource for anyone interested in buying pearls. The 6th edition is the most recent update.

    There is also the CPAA's Pearlsasone course, free with a coupon code that I believe is still valid, which I will private message you.

  8. #8
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl Expert KarinK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark


    Used this as a test I picked them as dyed FW too. There is something not quite right about the colors.

  9. #9
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Orlando, Florida, USA


    I thought they looked like dyed freshwater pearls, too, before I even scrolled down to read the comments. The colors and size are not right for Tahitian pearls.

    The clasp is the least expensive clasp you can buy for pearls. Any marks on it are just the manufacturer of the clasp and not the person or company who strung the necklace.

  10. #10
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    What it is about the color that indicates fw pearls is all the bright blue-purple pearls. Blue body color pearls are very, very rare in Tahitians. Also those bright coppery pearls and bright green, randomly mixed with the blue-purple on a strand. This sort of random color mix isn't typical of a Tahitian strand. Some of the blemishes may show dye deposits. Others have already mentioned useful and valid "clues" to identifying fw from Tahitians.
    Questions are always welcome here!


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