It would be great if we could all afford genuine pearls, but in all honesty, we can't. By "genuine," I mean cultured pearls. That's what you will find almost exclusively in jewelry stores. Natural pearls, created in nature without the assistance of human intervention, are rarely available. They are more commonly found in the possession of collectors or at estate sales.
Cultured pearls are abundant, but depending on the variety, can be very cost prohibitive. Both South Sea cultured pearls and cultured saltwater pearls used to make a pearl strand are expensive. So what's a person on a budget to do? Perhaps you should consider the purchase of a faux pearl necklace.
There are some who just want the real deal. No fakes for them. I happen to not be included in that group. That's because at this point in my life, I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on a pearl necklace, even though I really want one. Instead, I'm on a quest to find a faux pearls necklace that looks genuine, but at a fraction of the price.
What exactly are faux pearl necklaces? The word "faux" is a late twentieth century French word meaning "false." Faux pearls are also commonly called imitation, artificial, and simulated. They are not created by any living creature such as an oyster or mollusk, but rather man made. They are typically constructed from materials such as plastic, glass, or shell beads. The shell beads are submerged in a mixture of ground fish scales and lacquer, called pearlessence. This creates the look of a cultured pearl.
How do you select a pearl faux necklace? There are some simple guidelines to follow that will help you during this process. A classic white faux pearl necklace is one of the more popular choices. However, as colored pearls become increasingly sought after, a faux pink pearl necklace is progressively requested. Companies producing faux pearls realize the growing demand for all sorts of imitation pearls, and as a result, are creating quality imitations.
To buy faux pearls that look like the real thing, you should first compare the size and shape of the pearls. Are they uniform in size? Does the color remain consistent from pearl to pearl? When trying to create an authentic look, smaller sized pearls do just that. A petite faux pearl choker necklace looks more realistic than a very large, chunky faux pearl necklace. The bigger the pearl, the more its authenticity comes into question. In this case, smaller just might be better.
Examine the string which your faux pearls are strung on. Imitation pearls are rarely if ever strung on silk cord like the real ones. However, you still want the necklace to retain its durability and not fall apart. Look for a sturdy, thick white string. That's the most realistic looking. If it's knotted in between the pearls, even better. That lends it a true look.
Look for imperfections. Are there scratches on the surface of the pearl? If there are some even before you buy the faux pearl necklace, can you imagine what it will look like after a few wearings? Examine where the drill holes are. Is there chipping or pealing? These are also signs of a poor quality faux pearl.
A faux pearl necklace can be a thing of beauty. Although many are poorly made, there are also many that rival a true cultured pearl necklace. If you take the time to properly examine your faux pearls, you'll be able to pick up a gorgeous strand that will last you many years.