How to Tell If Pearls Are Real

Have you ever wondered what the difference between real pearls and imitation pearls are? In this guide, our experts at Matara Studio will take you through how to tell real pearls apart from imitation pearls. Starting from how to tell if a pearl is a real one from their nacre and the natural shape of pearls, this is a guide every pearl lover should not miss. 

What do real pearls look like?

1. Real pearls are imperfect in shape

If you look carefully at the shape of a real pearl, you will find that its natural shape is not perfectly round. Natural pearls have unique shapes and sizes, therefore, a real pearl will be unique and imperfect in shape whereas a fake pearl will have zero imperfections and will appear “perfect”.

One of the characteristics of artificial pearls that can be seen with the naked eye is their perfect shapes as they are exactly the same size due to industrial production processes. Their lustre is also coated with chemicals or made from shiny materials such as glass pearls and plastic pearls.

2. Real pearls have a shiny finish

The lustre of real pearls is an undeniable charm that has made it a popular accessory for women all over the world. The shiny finish of a pearl is one of its most unique and beautiful qualities, real pearls have a bright lustre, so they should clearly shine when exposed to light. You can also recognise the difference from the lustre of artificial pearls that have been coated with chemicals, glass pearls or plastic pearls.

The main types of pearls can be categorized as follows:

  • Freshwater pearls are commonly found in freshwater sources, such as lakes or a reservoir, unlike cultured pearls that are bred by breeders.
  • Saltwater pearls are commonly found in natural saltwater sources and are fertilized by breeders. This includes South Sea pearls, Akoya pearls and Tahitian pearls. All of which are premium grade pearls selected by Matara Studio especially for you.

3. Take two pearls and rub them together

Unlike plastic pearls, real pearls do not have a smooth surface. Real natural pearls have rough skin, therefore, there is friction when two real pearls get rubbed together. However, you should not rub two pearls together since the surface will be irritated.  

4. The iridescent colour of real pearls

This observation is an easy way to tell if a pearl is real or not. You can easily detect the difference between a real and an artificial pearl with the naked eye without any special equipment as real pears tend to have a variety of iridescent overtone colours, such as green, purple, gold, pale pink, and other colours. 

The difference between real and imitation pearls

For those who have little free time, you can quickly check how to tell real pearls from fake ones from this comparison table below. 

Real pearlsImitation pearls
Natural imperfections in shape and size which you can recognise real pearls with their own uniqueness.Unusually perfect in shape. They are always of the same standard size due to the manufacturing processes and you will see this in artificial pearl necklaces that are the same size and shape for all beads.
Surface is rough and stiff when abrasion is applied.Smooth and slippery because they’re made of glass or plastic so there is no stiffness or friction when the pearls rub against each other.
There are a variety of iridescent coloursNo iridescent shine and rarely shines when exposed to light.
Has a little weightCompletely weightless

3 Basic shapes of real pearls

We intend to search for world-class quality genuine pearls to create classic accessories that you can wear on any occasion. With the unique design at Matara Studio, we are able to meet the needs of every girl fascinated by real pearls.

We can classify the basic shapes of pearls into 3 shapes:

1. The classic round pearl that won the hearts of girls around the world

2. Symmetrical pearls that are suitable for girls who like to be perfect and neat

3. Baroque pearls (Abstract) have a unique shape. With its asymmetrical shape, it is attractive to women who like to be different and can confidently reflect who they are!

Buy genuine premium grade pearls from Matara Studio

Matara Studio always provides honest and sincere service to customers. From our attention to detail and quality of pearls that we have sought to the best of our ability, to the process of designing jewellery that will make your outfit look better. We are ready to meet the needs of girls of all styles!