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How to Tell ...

amti

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
1,845
Question for all the pros... how do you tell when you have a light/whitish colored Tahitian or a SSP? Is it just the luster? Are there certain flaws that are only found in one type of pearl but not the other? I don't have enough experience with either pearl to know if I could tell them apart. And I have the same question with freshwaters and SSPs, mainly the new larger fwps. I've seen a few really well dyed fwps that have beautiful coloring to resemble Tahitians too, but they were almost too colorful, although I'm sure there are some real Tahitians that colorful.
 

pattye

Pearl Scholar
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
11,291
Really, the best and truly only way to learn is to look at these kinds of pearls in person. Sometimes there are major signs, other times, subtle clues. I feel it is much easier to evaluate a whole strand vs a single pearl.

Blemish types on SSP and Tahitians are more similar to each other than when compared to freshwater. Differentiating is getting more difficult with the larger bead nucleated freshwaters, though with them, familiarity with freshwater colors helps immensely. If tomorrow gives us decent light here in Portland, I'll see if I can get some photo comparisons to post. But of course the problem with that is, well, they are photos seen on a monitor, lol.
 

pearlescence

purveyor of pearls
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
3,863
There were trays and trays of gold dyed Edisons at the last HK show, clearly aspiring to be SS and while they were sold to us a Edison and therefore freshwater I am sure some got out there as SS at ten times the price.
Viewed as a single pearl or a single strand in isolation they were great, and very very close. But en masse there was something earwax yellow about the trays which you don't get with a tray of GSS.
But it is getting closer all the time.
I think it will be more and more important to buy high end only from a specialist reputable pearl seller. I can see B and M being duped and I can so clearly see lots of online fraud in the next few years.
As to the white south sea...I got a few strands of white edisons a couple of years ago with a very silky lustre and it was only when I got them back to here that I realised how very like WSS they were. I've been looking since but the silky lustre hasn't reappeared.
I was undecided about getting the gold ones last time and still don't know whether to stock them..
 

JerseyPearl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
5,862
Wendy, thank you for that perspective! This is such good information to know as a consumer...I absolutely agree that we will see more pearls close to the look of a SSP. I wonder when they are going to start making freshwaters with similar colors as Tahitians?
 

amti

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
1,845
Take a look at these JP.
 

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Marianne

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
2,308
Those look like treated freshwaters to me. Beautiful colors!
 

amti

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
1,845
Yes, those are dyed freshwaters. There's no telling... it is a bit scary to think how close the Chinese are getting closer to mimicking real Tahitians. A few years ago their dyed fps were blochy and lacked shine.
 
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