Check to see if the pearl has been artificially coloured
This isn’t, in itself, necessarily a problem. Typically though, purists will look for naturally coloured pearls and they might well command higher prices.
Things that might indicate the pearl has been artificially coloured include:
- colour seemingly “wearing off” the outer shell;
- a very dark core (indication of possible irradiation to change colours);
- a very visible stratification of colour change on the inside of the pearl.
The final two above assume your pearl has a drill hole that you can look into with magnification.
Examine the regularity and symmetry of shape
Tiny irregularities of shape can be seen or felt – and that’s typically a good sign!
If your pearl is perfectly round and perfectly smooth over its surface, then you’re probably looking at an artificial not natural (whether wild or cultured) pearl made from synthetic materials.
However, even if …
Pearls are unique because they are a delicate organic material. Pearls have a certain life span. Unlike diamonds, a pearl’s life span can be shortened if not stored or nurtured with proper care.
- Firstly, never use anything abrasive to clean pearls. Instead damp the pearls with clean water and use a soft clean cloth to wipe them.
- Once the pearl is wiped, allow them to dry completely before you put them away.
- Also make sure that you do not use soap on pearls, because it can dissolve the smooth and reflective outside shell of the pearl.
- Always store pearls in a clean box and never suffocate them in plastic bags.
Opals require special care since they are relatively soft, porous and usually fragile. Never use harsh cleaners on opals. You can either use a soft brush or a clean linen cloth to remove the light amounts …