How Can You Recognize An Authentic Pearl When Buying Vintage Jewellery

How Can You Recognize An Authentic Pearl When Buying Vintage Jewellery


Photo by Anna Stampfli on Unsplash

Pearls are a favored jewel among enthusiasts and fashionistas. The delicate, soft shimmer captures attention and steals breath. Strands of pearls can present a formal appearance at any black-tie gala or add a touch of sass to a button down when attending a poetry reading at the local cafe. Go here for details on how to wear pearls anytime.

A natural pearl is exceptionally fragile, readily damaged by the chemicals in everyday products like laundry soaps, hair products (gels, sprays), and perfumes. Everyone uses one or a combination of these items, making a case for why many invest in the vintage lines of imitation strands flocking the fashion industry.

Whether a vintage-inspired soiree, contemporary art exhibit, or anything in between, the pearl is timeless and can adapt. Considering the appeal and value, there is an increasing volume of fakes on the market. For authentic strands, there are tips and helpful hints on recognizing what’s real and what’s not. Let’s learn.

Consider these suggestions if you aim to own a genuine piece of pearl jewellery, perhaps a strand, maybe a ring, or even a brooch. The options are endless.

How Can You Recognize An Authentic Pearl When Purchasing Vintage Jewellery

An authentic pearl is recognizable by the glow that comes from within. Fake jewels are unable to emit this gleam. The problem is if you are unfamiliar with pearls, the glow won’t be apparent to you.

It will take comparing different ones in a “side to side” viewing to establish a keen sense of the differences. Go to to learn how to identify pearls in vintage jewellery pieces.

A pearl is considered “an organic gem.” Of course, this is due to the fact that the stone derives from a life form. Genuine pearls fall into varied categories.

  1. Those established in freshwater are Cultured Freshwater Pearls
  2. Ocean-farmed are Cultured Saltwater Pearls
  3. Finally, those that are not farmed, no human intervention, “wild” or Natural Pearls

While there are various oyster species and the growth process is unique for each gem, the suggestion is that overall “mineral composition” is reliable across the board. That will essentially dictate whether a stone is natural or a fake.

Let’s look at a few things you can do to help you recognize an authentic pearl if you want to purchase vintage pearls consisting of the real deal.

●     Pay attention for “knotting”

Pearls are an exceptionally delicate gem. Because of this trait, the gems’ strands will consist of little sections of knotting between the stones. With the strands strung in this way, the pearls can’t rub or bump into each other, which would eventually lead to damage of the gemstone.

The knotting process is an exceptionally intricate and challenging one that many jewellers are unwilling to invest time in for imitation jewellery. You could perceive the absence of knotting as an indication that the piece is fake, but it’s not a definitive marker.

Some authentic strands are missing the knotting, and some jewellers will take the time to knot imitations to create the look of a genuine product.

●     Inspect the pearl’s hole

Each pearl will have a hole drilled through. Pay attention to the care taken with drilling and the surrounding area of the gem where the hole was made. Usually, with a fake, there will be a large, non-uniform hole.

The “beading” will have a coating peeling away from the sides where the hole was placed. This is often seen with the more aged vintage selections. For those who can peer into the hole, the coloring inside the stone usually won’t be the same shade as the outside coating.

If this were an authentic pearl, the drilled hole would be uniform, directly in the middle, with perhaps powder traces from the string rubbing the hole. The goal is to drill the most minute hole in an effort to retain as much weight as possible for greater profit.

●     Inspect the surface of the gem

Strands were the focus of the previous two examples, but you can use this for any pearl jewellery piece. Pearls are an organic gem, and as in nature, they won’t form to be uniform or perfect. There will be irregularities, perhaps some minute, on the surface, including dimples to define one from another.

It can be incredibly challenging to perceive these with the highest quality gems, but with the imitations, you will notice a smoother consistency throughout the surface.

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●     Give it a roll

You’ll need access to loose pearls that you want to check for authenticity with this check. Again, pearls will not win the contest for perfect features; at least, the real ones won’t. Not only does the gem have surface “inconsistencies and various irregularities,” but each shape is a little off.

That means if you attempt to roll a pearl and maintain a straight line, it likely will fail the test, usually wobbling along its path until it eventually falters off its course. A fake is too round and willing to roll wherever you want it to go without straying from the mark.

The problem comes with exceptionally high-grade pearls. Gem graders responsible for assessing the wholesale market will perform the roll test and find the round pearls to be more valuable than the irregular ones. Plus, these graders find the “most desirable” to be the “perfectly spherical that rolls straight.”

Final Thought

One test that most people, whether you’re familiar with pearls or not, recognize is the “taste test.” This is when you rub a pearl gently across the surface of a front tooth. Because teeth are incredibly sensitive, even slight variations in the gemstone will be readily detected.

The authentic pearl will produce a sandy, rough impression, but the imitation is more of a plastic-like, smooth consistency.

As a rule, when dealing with a reputed pearl jeweller, the piece’s authenticity should be fully disclosed. The price point will reveal its value, plus a trusted retailer will provide the jewellery’s grading documentation.

You can also buy high-end “costume” pearls from various brands, new or vintage. Again, the only anticipation is transparency on the products sold.

When to Buy Vintage Sapphire Jewellery

*Collaborative post.

When is it time to buy vintage sapphire jewellery? It’s hard to say, for some people. If you’re one of these people, please read on – you’re about to learn everything you need to know about when to buy vintage sapphire jewellery.

Why Buy Vintage Sapphire Jewellery?

Before we get on to the when let’s briefly cover the why. The simplest answer is that vintage sapphire jewellery is the best. I know, for some that’s not enough, so here’s some more detail. Buying vintage or antique when it comes to jewellery is not only cost-efficient, but also an eco-friendly move. It’s a common misconception that living an environment-friendly life means living without luxury.

Buying antique and vintage jewellery is a great way to reuse jewellery, rather than having it go to waste. It also doesn’t demand the gemstone trade, preventing further damage to the planet from gemstone mining, since every vintage and antique item already exists and doesn’t need to be ‘crafted’ from new materials. If you needed any more reasons to buy pre-loved jewellery, then consider that, carat-to-carat, you usually get more for your money with vintage and antique than you do with brand new. You can get stunning jewellery for a fraction of the cost if you were to go to a jeweller’s and buy something made new. An added plus is that most of the designs of antique and vintage jewellery are unique and unlike anything you’re likely to find in a chain jewellery store.

vintage jewellery image

Now that we’ve established that, let’s dive into the when.


It’s a no brainer that vintage sapphire rings make for beautiful engagement rings. Obviously, if you already know that a diamond engagement ring is what you want, then perhaps it’s not the choice for you, but you should definitely consider it. Even an engagement ring that features both diamonds and sapphires is a beautiful way to incorporate some colour and life into your engagement ring.

If you want an engagement ring that really looks like an engagement ring, then sapphire and diamonds paired together are almost a more perfect match than you and your fiancé/fiancée. Not only are they fit for royalty – literally the engagement ring Kate Middleton wears – but they’re every bit as versatile and classically beautiful as their diamond counterparts. So, if you or your loved one are fans of the colour blue, or maybe you’re just interested in something different for your proposal, then consider buying a vintage sapphire ring.

Engagement rings image


In case you didn’t know, sapphire is the birthstone for people born in September. Just as the summer dies off and the cold months start coming in, sapphires are there to remind you that cold doesn’t have to mean dim and glum, it can mean classy and elegant. If September is a birth month to someone you love (like you!), perhaps getting some vintage sapphire jewellery as a birthday present is a right way to go.

It can be anything, from a vintage sapphire ring to a necklace, earrings, or a bracelet. At the moment, brooches are having a big revival, so maybe something in that direction would be nice. What matters is that you get something that suits the giftee well. To establish what would work, have a look at jewellery they already own. Something with the same coloured metal, or gemstones cut to the same shape might be an indicator of their preferences. If they don’t yet own any jewellery, stick with something simple and small, as they might not be used to wearing jewellery.


For everyone who has already tied the knot, the 45th wedding anniversary is the sapphire anniversary. That’s a looong time to wait. Thankfully, there are no wedding anniversary police to stop you from celebrating the sapphire anniversary 40 years early. Of course, if you’d rather remain traditional, then it’s a lovely idea to wait to celebrate the sapphire anniversary of your 45th year of marriage. If it is the 45th year you’re celebrating, sapphire jewellery could not be more appropriate. Anyone approaching their 45th wedding anniversary sometime in the next few decades is sure to find some vintage sapphire jewellery that’s the same age as their marriage – what could be more perfect?

You can also gift sapphire jewellery if you are not a member of the relationship. If your parents or grandparents are going to be celebrating their sapphire wedding anniversary any time soon, maybe you could get some people to pool together and treat them to something beautiful that shows how much you love them as a unit. A vintage sapphire signet ring or some sapphire earrings, for example, would be beautiful and simple.

We’ve uncovered the main reasons to buy vintage sapphire jewellery, but you must remember that these are just suggestions, and there are no real rules about how and when to buy your jewels. If you want to buy a vintage sapphire ring to celebrate a Tuesday, then you’d best believe that’s a great idea. Thinking outside the box for occasions to gift jewellery – to yourself or anyone else – is the key to maintaining good relationships and enjoying life. Have fun with it!


Christian Dior Vintage Crystal Earrings

I have slowly fallen in love with shopping vintage, and I must say, I am loving it. Digging out stylish rare gems is now my new best thing, and I really enjoy styling them as well.

I recently came across an online store – Rock my Vintage, which has quickly became my online spot for all things vintage. Rock my Vintage stocks original and inspired vintage dresses and accessories, at amazing prices, so it is worth having a look at this website if you are into vintage pieces and accessories.

I was on the hunt for some stunning vintage jewellery as a twinkling treat for myself (Yes I like to get myself presents regularly), so I went browsing on the website. There were so many options with a varied price range, so it took me some time to make up my mind, but I finally settled on this gorgeous Christian Dior Crystal Vintage Earrings, and I am glad I did.



I am head over heels in love with the sparkly earrings. I have never had a Christian Dior jewellery before, so it feels good to rock these super sparkly beauties.

These 1980s diamante clip on earrings by Christian Dior feature a curved crossover design with a double row of crystals for maximum shine. All of the original crystals are intact and are in a gold setting. The hinge fastening is marked with ‘Chr. Dior Germany’ and these earrings measure 2cm. Condition – Excellent.



I am saving the earrings for special occasions only, when I need to ooze some 80s glamour. But if I was to style the earrings for a regular day, I would probably match it with a nice stylish vintage inspired dress like the beauty below.



This 1940s vintage inspired Faye Floral Midi Shirt Dress from Sugarhill Boutique, would look amazing this spring, styled with the vintage Christian Dior Crystal Earrings and a black pair of sandals.

I love shirt dresses; they are very comfortable, easy to style and flatter most shapes. What is there not to like?

What do you think of both items? Are you a vintage fan?


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