Faux South Sea Pearls?


Oct 28, 2021
My friend bought a SSP choker online from the Philippines. When the goods came to Germany, she saw this dark coloured on the pearl hole .
she messaged the shop owner , and they just said that it is normal for a SSP to have these on the hole .
i told her , that the hole should be clean in any real pearls .

any idea what this is? She paid 1300€ for this!

Interesting photo leizl
There are various things I think I gather from the photo, but I would love MORE PHOTOS, especially of other pearls in the necklace (their drill holes).

I see many defects on the pearls and these seem like normal pearl defects (pinpricks, streaks) and maybe that dark colored spot is just a protein deposit (an unwanted natural defect) that has been exposed.

In all: this pearl necklace does look like a cultured pearl necklace but made from very low grade pearls. The colors also look a bit off to me and I think they have been dyed. 1,300 Euros seem way, way too much for the item. At least to me.

Did they issue her any certificate?
I agree with everything Douglas wrote.

The pearls look to be short-cultured - at least the dyed pearls. The nacre appears to be missing around the drill hole with the discoloration. The nacre appears to be flaking off, which is something you wouldn't normally see with thick South Sea pearl nacre. The irregularity (small lines and bumps) in the remaining nacre are also indicative of thin nacre.

The gold-colored pearls could be natural color, but the green pearls are dyed. The gold pearls may also be higher quality.
It definitely looks like a real South Sea strand, although I don't recall seeing one dyed this way before.
I agree with Jeremy...never seen one with this green coloration before. It looks dyed to me.
I’m from the PH and I’ve talked to one of the sellers about their color treated SSP. They said that the gold ones are their natural color but the green and brown ones are color treated. They call them pistachio and choco.
Pistachio and chocolate are treated Tahitian pearl colors. I've never seen a South Sea strand dyed pistachio before. I'd venture a guess to say the green pearls are actually Tahitian pearls.

Pearls aren't dyed in the Philippines, and merchants from Greenhills in the Philippines come to Hong Kong and China to source their pearls. When I visited, I was told over and over again that the pearls were from Mindanao, but they were mostly Chinese freshwater pearls with a mix of Tahitian and South Sea.

Greenhills Market pearl seller