Plated Pearls

Anna Reyne

Feb 20, 2021
I am very curious about the treatment of plating pearls. An expert opinion and advice on all aspects of plated pearls. As you can see, plating pearls leaves a gorgeous luster. How does this plating wear and how does it increase or decrease the value of pearls? It certainly is a novelty but does not necessarily equal value, sales ability or the desire to own them personally.

strands of fireball freshwater pearls
Hello Anna, great to see you active her on the forum again!
Those are interesting fireballs. Did the vendor tell you they were "plated"?
Yes. I have no idea how they are doing it as plating is done with metals. Which is why I am asking the question. Perhaps I should add ... can they plate pearls? I was told the pearls are plated. I tried to coax more information from the sellers of these plated pearls. And the secret is being held tight.
Those pearls might be coated to make them look more shiny. There's no metal I can see. Probably a mis-translation; simply the wrong word picked from a list in a dictionary.
I agree with Pearlescence...I did hear of "vapour plating" many, many years ago and it turned out to be a "marketing hoax". I saw -decades ago!- some Akoya & Mabe pearls that had been coated with a resin to make them more resistant too, but this practice never had widespread commercial usage to my knowledge.
The ikechos in your photo look like average ikecho pearls to me.
Could it be they were referring to the use of a dye?
For a number of years I've seen something called "mystic" finish applied to various inexpensive gemstone beads. It seems something like the aurora borealis finish on glass beads. I've never seen an explanation of how it's done.

I doubt it would be done to high quality beads or pearls. Some examples of what I've seen here:
"Aurora borealis" mystic here

I have no idea specifically what would happen over time, but with other plated finishes (silver plated and gold plated) there is a gradual wearing off and the possibility of the finish being scratched.

Thank you Pattye!
Sure appreciate your input on this matter :)
And I agree with you...I don't believe these kinds of finishes are commonly applied to pearls. But so many things can be done to pearls and gemstones.
After careful and in-depth research - I present to you the original and only "truly plated" pearls - vendors tend to write anything as we have noticed recently (AFAIC freshwater Akoya pearls)

DSC_1613.jpg - Plated Pearls

Plating - as in applying a physical metal layer - would involve the use of chemicals which have damaging effects on a pearl.

Coatings such as AB (Many thanks Christian Dior) - are applied in a vacuum, and involve some steps\processes that aren't pearl friendly
I agree. As a mere marketing scheme it may prove valuable...oh well!
Happy Sunday!