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  1. #16
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    Pattye,
    Will see if he knows what they are coated with, or the name of the maker. I wish they were whiter or a little less glassy, but I gave four pairs of them for Christmas gifts and the recepients loved them. Hoping to get to the antique mall tomorrow and pick up my other faux pearls to photo for this thread. Over the past year I have noticed an increase in customers wanting pearls, both real and faux. Actually they all would want the real, it is an affordability issue; if they don't have the bucks for real they seem to be quite happy with faux.

    Daddys Little Girl

    Antiques Jewelry & Sacred Treasures

  2. #17
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert dkan 168's Avatar
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    pattye,

    The stones are imitations, most likely to be CZ. The fake Tahitians are Majorca pearls. The large mabes are CIROs, which I believe is a good brand of imitation jewellery. The small white pearls with the CZ earring jackets were picked up from eBay for about 20 GBP.

    On close up I can tell they are fake pearls, however, they look good from afar!

    I would dearly love to have a pair of mabe pearl earrings of that size surrounded by diamonds, however, they are beyond my reach, so I shall stick with my fakes for the time being.

    DK
    Treat every life situation like a dog: if you can't play with it, eat it, or hump it, p1$$ on it and walk away

  3. #18
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I took bunches of photos of fakes and will upload some of them. I took most of these photos under the daylight lamp using ISO 400. I'll start with the better ones.
    For anyone reading this thread who doesn't know the abbreviation, CFWP means Cultured Fresh Water Pearls (real pearls.) I thought a few comparison shots might be useful taken under similar lighting conditions.

    Left to right, top to bottom:
    1. Comparison shot. From top to bottom: White metallics CFWP; Freshadama CFWP; Majorica imitation pearls (my 30" strand that my husband gave me our first Christmas after we were married.
    (I was also married wearing Majoricas and my mother is never without the Majoricas given to her by her mother. I say this to point out that one can have a sentimental attachment even to fake pearls, which is a good reason to wear them even if one owns real pearls.)
    2. 30 inch Majorica strand by itself. These are a little bigger than 7mm but smaller than 7.5mm.
    3. Freshadama CFWP strand under the same daylight lamp, to show differences in overtones.
    4. 7mm Majorica strand neck shot, diffuse daylight. The pseudo-orient is subtle in daylight, more noticeable under the lamp.
    5. Closeup of 7 mm white Majoricas. Notice the green and rose colors of the pseudo-orient. These look quite smooth compared to inferior quality fake pearls at this magnification, but under a 10x loupe the Majorica coating still looks rougher than real nacre does.

    Majoricas sell briskly with multiple bids on eBay but sometimes you can get a good deal. You don't have to spend a fortune to buy a strand, and they do make pretty fakes. They are the only fakes I wear anymore, since owning real pearls. I personally would not buy a Majorica strand at retail prices any more since real pearls are so affordable.

    Majoricas are very durable and they do not yellow with age. But you still need to avoid using hair spray, perfume etc. around them.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 01-11-2013 at 10:59 PM.

  4. #19
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    We tend to look at things like orient, variation in overtones, uniformity of shape, better clasp features to decide if pearls are real. Yet these can be present (or appear to be) in imitations, as seen here:

    1. Imitation pearl enhancer that I wore on my 16" Majorica strand at my wedding. There is some sort of coating that gives it the appearance of having orient.
    2. Imitation pearl bracelet showing very slight variation in overtone colors under daylight lamp (but not as much as real pearls do.) Until I saw this myself today, I was sure that with imitation pearls the overtones would all be the same in a strand. But this shows me there can be some variation.
    3. This vintage imitation strand has a safety chain, so that sort of "added touch" cannot be used to determine real vs. fake. My wedding strand of Majoricas and my mothers' strand also have safety chains.
    4. This vintage imitation strand from Japan (as marked on clasp) has differently shaped pearls-- they are not uniformly round.
    5. clasp of the vintage Japanese strand with the irregularly shaped pearls to the left.
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 04-14-2015 at 11:59 PM. Reason: fixed typo

  5. #20
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    The surface coating of imitation pearls is not as smooth when seen under 10x magnification as real nacre is. It can look like an orange peel-- or the moon's surface with craters!
    The better coatings may look smooth in a macro shot but the cheaper the quality, the more rough the surface will look.

    Here are photos showing show peeling of the coating, buildup of coating near drill hole, beveled holes as seen from the side (bead is a little flattened near the holes) and 3 strands with increasingly rough looking coating. (No, I don't wear these! But they make good props for school plays.)

    Some of these photos also show the uniformity of overtones that usually (not always ) is seen in imitation pearls. Imitation pearls can also have circl? indentations as seen in the last photo.
    Attached Images Attached Images        
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 01-11-2013 at 10:49 PM.

  6. #21
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Indirect light shows the nuances better than sunlight- as in the shade or an overcast day. Maybe when its not actually raining...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddys Little Pearl View Post
    These are faux pearls from England, a friend of mine used to wholesale these and now closing down after his wife died. They are 25 years old, circa 1980, heavier than real pearls for the size, knotted nicely too. No way to do pix in the sunlight, Nashville is in a week long cloud with rain, these were photos under an Ott lite, darker photos without flash, lighter ones with. Will try for better photos later.Attachment 20470Attachment 20471Attachment 20472Attachment 20473
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  7. #22
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    Wow, thanks Pearl Dreams, this thread is becoming both fun and also very educational! Will post photos of more of my fakes this evening.

    Daddys Little Pearl

    Antiques Jewelry & Sacred Treasures

  8. #23
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Education is the name of the game here!

  9. #24
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    More examples of faux pearls, one shot without flash. The three necklaces to the left of the silver gray are more of the pearls made in England. The silver ones are marked Japan. On the right two vintage pearl necklaces, the white ones very lightweight, the ivory ones of good weight similar to that of real pearls. Next photo closeup of some of the high quality clasps used in the better faux. Last three shots of one necklace that may not be that old, strung with a variety of pearl shapes to mimic real ones, notice the faux rice krispies
    Daddys Little Pearl

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  10. #25
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    And yet more imitations, first an elegant necklace with pendant, followed by Majorica pearl earrings in original box and two well done faux rings. The larger single pearl ring is from the English maker as well.

    Daddys Little Pearl

    Antiques Jewelry & Sacred Treasures on Ruby Lane

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  11. #26
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    The rice krispie pearls are even in different shapes! So many good examples. The majorica earrings with the gold leaves are elegant. I'm a sucker for leaves. Thank you for showing the clasps also.
    Pattye


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  12. #27
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    I would never have thought the rice krispies would be duplicated! The real ones used to cost $2 retail for a small hank! There is some good-looking stuff in those photos!
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  13. #28
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    Caitlin, it is actually really scary and certainly explains why so many people get fooled. After I posted these I was amazed how real some of these look on our forum. When I first found this forum a week or so ago, I was so curious how one could verify a pearl by photos, and now you know why. The old fakes, the ones our moms and grandmoms had, you know, the ones that peeled and flaked with wear, well those were easy to identify, they had no luster even when new, and no reflection at all, but in the last 20 years or so it is amazing how good the fakes have become. What I wish we could find out is how all these fakes are created. I have read on some internet sites about fake pearls that are created by applying ground up pearl material over glass, which I think is even more scary, as that would pass the scratching two together test and possibly others and might take a near expert to identify them. I may try matching up some of my fakes with similar real and post those together to see what difference shows up. frankly some of my fakes are prettier than a lot of the real pearls I see in stores. And yes I am amazed they faked the krispies.

    Daddys Little Girl

  14. #29
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Here is good authoritative information about the Majorica company of Spain and how they make their imitation pearls. http://www.musy.net/Heusch-1/Heusch-...heusch-4b.html
    Pattye


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    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  15. #30
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    I've seen fake rice krispie pearls as well, at consignment shops, and really wondered why they bothered!! They were very lightweight, clearly plastic.

    I've never heard of real pearl material being used as a coating-- if you have a reference for that I'd love to read it. Traditionally the coatings are a mixture of ground up fish scales and lacquer-- called "essence d'orient". Edit: I've since read that the so-called "South sea shell pearls" are coated with ground up mother-of-pearl from SSP shells.

    The clasp with the leaves is an older style clasp-- I bought a 16" Majorica strand on eBay for a song once and it came with this clasp, but the pearls were in bad shape--the luster was low. Probably they were exposed to perfume or hair spray. Anyway, the end pearl is partially peeled and underneath is visible, not the glass bead, but another, shinier layer of coating. Majorica pearls have a great many coats, polished in between-- some have over 40 coats. [Edit: I had read this number a while back; Strack says the top quality Majoricas have 34 coats, and lesser qualities have 12 or 8 coats.] Strack has a section on them in her book (p. 628-631). Some of the larger pearls are hand-dipped! Not all have the same number of coats.
    I tested the Majoricas for grittiness and they are all smooth when rubbed against each other.
    Photo:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 07-09-2013 at 04:11 AM. Reason: edited with new information

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