My colleagues and I love pearl jewelry very much; sometimes we will talk about how to tell if our pearl necklaces or earrings are real or fake, I will list our methods to distinguish between real pearls and fakes. I hope they will be helpful to you too.
First, real pearl necklaces or earrings feel rough or gritty, but fake pearls feel smooth. Because the real pearls are grow in the nature which could not give them a perfect environment to grow.
In order to test them, we can rub two pearls gently together, if the surfaces are glassy smooth, these pearl necklaces or earrings are probably artificial. However, if the surfaces are texture, these pearl necklaces or earrings are probably genuine. Another funny test is to test by rubbing a real or fake pearl against your tooth. If the pearl is made of plastic or glass, it will feel smooth. If the pear is real, we can see natural texture on the pearl necklace or earring.
Second, if the pearl necklace or earring is sold at an unbelievable price, I think we need to test it more carefully, as we all know, there are no pies dropping from the sky.
Third, imitation pearl necklaces or earrings are usually made by glass or plastic beads, the coating will chip over time. So we can check pearl necklaces or earrings near holes drilled trough them for tiny chips or flakes. If you see some chips, your pearl necklaces or earrings may be fake.
Fourth, real pearls can be either natural or cultured. Natural pearls are usually irregularly shaped and not very attractive, so the naturally round pearls are precious. However, the majority of perfectly shaped pearls are cultured.
At last, if you have better methods to test if pearl necklace or earring is real or not, please share with us! Good luck!