5 Proven Methods to Verify the Authenticity of Your Pearls at Home - Stradley & Daughter

5 Proven Methods to Verify the Authenticity of Your Pearls at Home

If you've ever found yourself questioning the authenticity of your pearls, you're not alone. With counterfeit pearls becoming increasingly sophisticated, it's harder than ever to tell real from faux just by looking. But don't worry, we've got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through five proven methods to determine if your pearls are "Friend or Faux!" Plus, we'll share tips on how to care for your pearls and where to buy genuine pearls online.

1. Size and Price: The Initial Indicators

First off, let's talk about size and price. If your pearls are larger than 3mm in diameter and you snagged them for less than $100, chances are they're faux. Genuine pearls, especially those of a larger size, command a higher price due to their rarity and the labor-intensive process of pearl farming.

Pro Tip:

Always compare the size and price of the pearls you're interested in with the market rates for genuine pearls. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Weight Matters: The Rock Test

Next up is the weight test. Imagine holding rocks of the same size as your pearls. Would they weigh about the same? If the rocks would be significantly heavier, then your pearls are likely beautiful but faux. Genuine pearls have a certain heft to them due to their organic composition.

Pro Tip:

If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh your pearls and compare them to the average weight of known genuine pearls of the same size. The closer they are, the more likely they're real.

3. The Tooth Test: Gritty or Smooth?

This one might sound a bit odd, but it's effective. Rub your pearls gently against your teeth. If they feel gritty, you're likely holding genuine pearls. However, be cautious of composite pearls, which are made by grinding low-quality pearls into powder and compressing them into beads. These can also feel gritty but are still man-made.

Pro Tip:

If your pearls are not perfectly round and feel gritty to the teeth, you're almost certainly holding genuine pearls. The natural formation process rarely produces perfectly round pearls.

4. Shape and Uniformity: The Telltale Signs

Take a good look at the shape of your pearls. Are they perfectly round and uniform? If so, they're likely faux. Genuine pearls will vary in shape, size, and luster. Even the best-matched strands will have pearls with unique characteristics. If your pearls are nearly perfect but still individually unique, you may have saltwater pearls, which are highly valued.

Pro Tip:

Examine your pearls under a magnifying glass. Genuine pearls will have minor imperfections, while faux pearls will look too perfect.

5. Individual Knotting: A Sign of Value

If you're examining a full strand of pearls, check if they are individually knotted. Jewelers take the time to knot between each genuine pearl to prevent loss in case the strand breaks. This is a sign that you're dealing with valuable, authentic pearls.

Pro Tip:

If you're still unsure, professional jewelers like us at Stradley & Daughter Jewelers offer pearl evaluation services. You can contact us at customercare@stradleyjewelers.com or book a virtual appointment for expert advice.

Caring for Your Genuine Pearls

Once you've verified your pearls' authenticity, it's crucial to know how to care for them. Pearls are delicate and require specific cleaning methods to maintain their luster and beauty. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials when cleaning your pearls. Check out our article on jewelry care for more info.

Where to Buy Authentic Pearls Online

If you're looking to buy genuine pearls online, Stradley & Daughter is your go-to destination. It's a rarity in the jewelry industry, but for years we have specialized in pearls, and use our unique expertise to help people find perfect matches, restring heirloom pearls that need some extra TLC, and even design new pearl jewelry. We offer a wide range of authentic pearls, from freshwater to saltwater varieties. Our experts are available for virtual appointments to guide you through your purchase, ensuring you get the best value for your money.


And there you have it! Five proven methods to verify the authenticity of your pearls. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently buy, wear, and care for your pearls, knowing they're the real deal.

Back to blog
1 of 3