I stumbled up this listed on eBay and I am reminded how much people do not know about pearls and how unwilling other pearl sellers are willing to tell them. For instance, look at this fake pearl:
Pretty, isn’t it!?
The listing says it is a $160 Large 14mm Shell Pearl Gold Drop Necklace Pendant and your price is only $3.99. And yes, price should be a giveaway but, then again, I love a deal and I know many of you do too so sometimes we just WANT to believe. So, we have this beautiful golden pearl valued at $160. In the description, the seller breaks down the specifics:
Pearl Type: Shell Pearl
Pearl Color: Gold
Pearl Size: 16mmx12mm
Pearl Shape: Drop Pearl Luster: Good
Pearl Blemish: 98% Free
Pearl Smoothness: Good
Metal Type: Sterling Silver
Overall Quality AAA
Here are some things you should know, starting from the bottom. This little grading on pearl quality (Overall Quality) means absolutely nothing. I have said it once and I will say it time and time again, your As and Double As and Triple As have no bearing on the market. This is a prime example that the AAA here means absolutely nothing, it just sounds good. That’s all. Read more on Grading problems here…
Next, many companies will give out certificates like this that go through the different quality factors and rate them. So this looks mighty legit however this is done for REAL pearls. Giving ratings on fake pearls is like telling someone their astroturf looks green. Of course it does, it is fake!
Finally, here is something important to know because this is the ONLY indicator you have that this pearl is fake, it is a Shell Pearl. The listing does not explain what this means, the seller will not tell you what this means so you need to know, a shell pearl is a fake pearl! Shell pearls are the same type of pearls as Majorica pearls, they are simulated pearls made from a cocktail of epoxy and fish scales that is put on glass beads, if you’re lucky. Sometimes shell pearls are just shiny stuff on plastic.
There was never a day and never will be a day that this pendant is worth $160. $3.99 might be a stretch. And if you love it, great, buy it! I am not here to judge you and your pearl choices. I am here to let you know what is real and what isn’t and I can easily look at this fake pearl and tell it is not real. Happy shopping!
I am a modern day treasure hunter who travels the world for gorgeous pearls and amazing adventures. I own a pearl jewelry and jewelry repair business, ThePearlGirls.com, with a cute retail store in Athens, GA. I also have a Pearl Travel business and travel blog at TheWorldofPearl.com.