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Natural pearls are extremely expensive – some even hundreds of dollars for only a pearl! That's pretty expensive for a ring, but what if it is sufficient to buy a necklace? Now you're looking at, most likely, over a thousand dollars minimum. When you're making this investment, it is important to make sure what you're buying. An easy way to know is the name: false, false, artificial, synthetic, man-made – if you see in the description of what you know immediately. There may be cases, however, which may not be able to say so easily, and that is where the six tests will be very useful!

The Density is a way to verify authenticity. If you can see the pearl (s) in person, try to pick them up! Real pearls should be fairly heavy for their size. This is because you have a thick layer of nacre Whereas most fakes are made of glass, with some layers of nacre at the top. Pearls very light is automatically false – however, this is a bit more complicated when they are heavy, such as pearls well-made synthetic pearls and natural pearls will much more in weight and density.

The next test is to try to expose your pearls to sunlight. You can also use a bright indoor light. What you should do is pick up the pearl and looks at the back to light. First, you are checking the brightness – you should be able to almost see your reflection, if the quality is high. Second, it lets you see all the color variations. This is easier when you are checking several pearls against each other. Natural pearls do not match exactly with each other unless they are very expensive.

If you're still unsure, try the test teeth. A lot of gemologists seem to recommend this, but I have no experience with it so be careful. This involves the implementation of the pearl very slightly on the teeth. Real pearls should feel quite sandy, while the fakes should be much smoother. This is because the shell does not form naturally. The problem with this test is to separate natural pearls, not cultured, false, but not separate fake pearls because they have a thin layer of nacre.

Also try destroying any evidence. I do not recommend these at all but I feel I should include for the sake of completion. Nondestructive tests involve cutting open pearl to look at the base. You will be able to say how much of nacre, and if the core is made of glass, has a fake on your hands. Obviously this is a last resort – I see no reason why they want to destroy something so valuable to me.

Magnification let you see the pearl's surface in greater detail. Synthetic Pearls will be smoother. Natural or cultured pearls have small ridges or imperfections that may or may not be visible to the naked eye.

Finally, you can have your pearls radiography. This is the most reliable test that can perform. You need a (certified) gemologist to take a look. Once this is done he / she will be able to tell you everything you need to know in particular whether the pearl is natural uncultivated cultivated or false, and the thickness of the nacre. If you have any questions at all since the previous tests, this is your best option. It's worth the cost when was thinking how much money you can lose.

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In summary, the six ways to spot fake pearls are checking density, the sunlight test, tooth test, destructive test(s), magnification, and x-rays. Please remember that it is important to contact a gemologist if you still have doubts. There are some very well-crafted synthetic pearls on the market (Swarovski comes to mind) that pride themselves on being as close to nature as possible. I hope this helps and good luck buying your pearls.

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/Billy Talent live – Best of Rock am Ring 2009 – MUST SEE for all FANS
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