Both natural and cultured pearls are grown by oysters and therefor considered values jewels gift of nature. The only difference between a natural and cultured pearl is; natural pearls begin by accident while cultured pearl are initiated by man. An experienced jeweler can usually look down the drill hole of a pearl and determine the origin. The X-ray machine is only way of telling the difference between a natural and cultured pearl.
Imitation pearls are man made by mechanical processes and have no real jewel value. Better imitation pearl are made from beads of glass, shell, or plastic which are coated with a varnish generally made of; lacquer and ground fish scales to simulate the iridescence and color of pearl. It may be difficult for any person to distinguish a natural or cultured pearl from a good imitation pearl by sight. But there is one easy way to tell the difference, and it is the “tooth” test. A strand of imitation pearls slowly rubbed across the front teeth will feel smooth. A strand of natural or cultured pearls will feel a little gritty. This grittiness that is felt is from the crystalline structure of Nacre that forms the real natural or cultured pearls.
Cultured pearls are relatively soft compared to other gemstones and precious metals. So it is important to take special care of your pearls to ensure they will remain bright and beautiful for generations to come.
Cosmetics, perfume, and hair spray all contain chemicals that can dull the lustre of a pearl over extended periods of time. Even acids contained in body oils and perspiration can damage lustre in the same way.
It is best to put your pearls on after applying make up, perfume and hair spray. Wiping the pearls with soft damp cloth after you wear them will ensure that they remain free from any harmful build up of these compounds. Periodically, the pearls should be washed with mild soap, or one of the Blitz Pearl cleaning product in our Jewelry care product Gallery.
Always keep the pearls separated from hard jewelry items, such as metals and other gemstones, to prevent them from scratching the pearls. Pearls are best kept in a soft cloth or separately lined jewelry box.
It is best to take the pearls to a jewelers for stringing about once every year to prevent strand breakage. Silk thread is the best choice to restrung pearls. However nylon thread is also acceptable. Make sure that the string is knotted between each pearl. Individual knotting prevent all the pearls in a strand from falling off if a break occur. Knotting also prevent the pearls from rubbing against each other.
Do not store pearls in a safety deposit box for Long period of time. Pearls contain small traces of water, so it is unwise to store them in such a dry environment for very long time. This condition may cause the pearls to loose their moisture; and therefore loose their lustre. Pearls worn frequently retain their moisture by absorbing it from the air or from a person body.
For more pearl information, You can go to the following site, where you can learn more about the pearl history and how they are produced in detail. You may also post questions by entering the site discussion forum. You can also send your question directly to one of our staff, and we will gladly help you find your answer and help you select the best pearl jewelry for your taste and budget. Just go to the Pearl Search Page on this site and send us your question and any request you may have.