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Pearls in Costume Jewelry

Posted by Laurie Zeiden on

Pearls are the only gemstone which originate from a living creature. Pearls are hard, lustrous spherical masses formed within the shell of an oyster or other bivalve mollusk. Imitation pearls are man-made and created using glass, plastic or mollusk shell as the starter. And pearls are commonly used in costume jewelry. This blog contains photos and trivia about pearls.

PEARL FACT: Akoya, or saltwater pearls come from oysters; freshwater pearls usually come from mussels.


Collar with Imitation Pearls in Various Sizes

Richelieu Triple Strand Necklace

Double Strand of Imitation Pearls with Rhinestone Enhancer

Pearl Bib Necklace

Trifari Necklace

Freshwater Pearls and Labradorite

Majorica Pearls

Kenneth Jay Lane Triple Strand Necklace

Florenza Necklace with Removable Section

PEARL FACT: Harvesting pearls from mollusks does not kill the animals, as they can be re-implanted and used to make more pearls.


Two Row Bracelet with Enamel Connectors

Unsigned Bracelet

Narrow Cuff Bracelet

Unsigned Bracelet

Gold Bracelet with Cultured Pearls

Trifari Bracelet Close-Up

PEARL FACT: Pearls take their color from the inside of the shell in which they are growing. The colors can range from white to gold to purple and even black.


Victorian Pin in Gold with Pearls and Diamond

Gold Pin and Pendant with Pearls and Diamond

Gold Pin with Large Blister Pearl

Freshwater Pearls Pin

Antique Gold Pin with Pearls

Unsigned Pin

Pearls and White Gold Circle Pin

Beauty Pin with Seed Pearls

Pin from Ming's Honolulu

Hattie Carnegie Pin

Pin with Pearls and Jade

PEARL FACT In 1916, Jacques Cartier bought his 5th Avenue store by trading two pearl necklaces for the land.


Blister Pearls set in 14k Gold

Unsigned Earrings

Trifari Earrings

Trifari Earrings

PEARL FACT:  Pearl farming is known as "Periculture."


Gold Ring with Pearl and Diamonds

Silver Ring Set

Gold Ring

Gold Ring with Freshwater Pearls

Trifari Ring

Are they real or fake? There are number of tests to determine if your pearls are real or fake including the "rub it on your teeth" test which really does work.

Hold one or two pearls between your fingers and press them gently onto the front of your teeth. Rub them against your teeth with a side-to-side motion. A real pearl will usually have a slightly gritty texture. Fake pearls made from glass or plastic will usually be perfectly smooth.

Similarly, you can rub two pearls together. Real pearls will generate a tiny bit of friction and can even leave a touch of residue on your hands.

Another good test is a visual one. If your pearls have been drilled for stringing, look closely at the drill hole. Real pearls will have a clean sharp edge; manufactured pearls will have a more rounded edge and may also exhibit minor chipping near the drill hole.

To see pearl jewelry available for sale at World of Eccentricity & Charm, just click here.

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