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Thread: dyed pearls

  1. #1

    Default dyed pearls

    new to pearls but have been reading here for awhile. I have a question about dyed pearls.
    purchased several chocolate, peacock, black 6.5-7mm fw necklaces from a reliable source who thought they were among some of the better quality (comparable to AA ) at the Tuscon show.
    To me they seem to have small blotches related to dying and many pearls in each necklace seem to have small flaws. Also, the peacock color seems more purple with very little green tint and they are not very dark . The pink, white and peach colors are ok.

    Is it common for darker colors to have blotches - I've noticed this on some sites that show black fw dyed pearls. Also these do not have the luster if that is the correct term as what I have seen.

    I was thinking of using some type of polishing cloth on the end of a drill and going over them very lightly to even out the blotches and maybe improve the luster but I would guess that if the dye comes off at all then there is a bigger problem.

    The price range was in the $75/$100 per as opposed to $15 per

    Comments appreciated,
    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    near Tucson AZ


    Hi Ronz
    I'm giving the thread a bump. You are asking:
    You bought chocolate and peacock and black necklaces for $75 per and they are supposed to be AA quality but you have doubts? Did you buy peach, white and pink strands as well? But they are ok?

    You see what may be dye related blotches on the pearls? As well as many small flaws? And they have poor luster?

    You are also asking about using a polishing cloth on a drill to improve the luster. And finally, you wonder if the dye would come off if you did that.

    That is quite a number of questions for one post and without pictures it is hard to see what you are talking about.

    Having said that, I do not know how much blemishing on AA pearls is allowable, but I do know they should have good to great, luster.

    I don't know what you mean by dye related blotches in those colors, though I have seen visible dye in the cracks and holes of circled pink pearls.

    My guess is these are not AA pearls and your reliable source was talking too fast or too much in order to make the sale, and exagerated the actual quality. If they are reliable, maybe they will take them back.

    I have no idea if you can improve the luster with a polishing cloth on a drill- maybe someone else does. I don't think it will take off the dye on well-dyed pearls, but you should experiment if you can't send the bad ones back. If blotches show up on dyed pearls, I would guess it is the dye job and therefore they wouldn't be AA quality.

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  3. #3

    Default dyed pearls

    Thanks Caitlin,

    yes light colors are ok.

    Sorry no pictures but the blotches are similiar to what is seen on dyed black fw on the web sites.

    The other problem I just discovered after looking closer are flaws -mostly dings or dents in 85%-90% of the pearls in each necklace and they are said tobe AA so not sure what I have.


  4. #4


    Hi Ron,

    I am not clear whether you purchased the finished necklaces yourself, or had another party do it for you?

    The dye should go deep into the nacre, and not just be on the surface. Basically a permanent treatment. Sometimes if there are bad pits and blemishes, the dye will settle there. But on AA grade--well, it shouldn't be visible except in perhaps a very few areas. Sounds like sacrificing a necklace, or a few pearls from one to try buffing--or perhaps try a sunshine cloth?? I even tried a little olive oil on a strand of pearls the other day, it might have helped them a bit.

    so many pearls, so little time

  5. #5


    Hi Ronz,

    Usually, the peach and pinks are natural colors. At USD75-100/strand you should be able to get black pearls that are beautifully dyed and without 80% of the pearls having nicks. 6.5mm-7mm are easy to come by and that ought to give you quite a selection in terms of quality.

  6. #6

    Default dyed pearls

    Thank you,

    Pattye, yes I purchased them finish.
    you said someting that makes me suspicious, that the dye should go deep and in this case where each pearl was drilled you can see a very small amount of white area. Small but very obvious to naked eye where the drill went in and came out on the 2 necklaces I looked at carefully and I would guess the same thing on the others.

    Is it common to see white around the drill hole?

    My initial thought due to the blotchiness was that the pearls were hastily dyed.

    Don't want to belabor this but a chance for me to learn something other than the buying lesson which unfortunately was costly and my reliable vendor made a one time sale.

    Perlas, that is what I expected -i.e. not to have many dings/dents.


  7. #7


    Hi again Ronz,

    Have you tried contacting your vendor to tell him (or her) you are not pleased with the pearls and why? That might be worth a try.

    I do not see white area around the drill hole in my pearls.

    I found that when I first shopped the gem faire in my town, I did buy some poor quality pearls. After that, I started taking my reading (and craft) glasses, 3.25x magnification. They give enough magnification to check for blemishes and white spots. I wrote in another thread how it saved me from spending $650 for a strand with many small blemishes when I was in Tucson. The bright show lights make it difficult to see.

    I agree it is a tough lesson to learn.

    so many pearls, so little time