Pearl Testing

Pearls submitted to the laboratory take many forms, but most customers submit them as necklaces, rows or individual/lots of loose pearls. Mounted pearls can be tested, however, experience shows that most of the time it is less problematic to test pearls that are not mounted in rings, pendants, brooches or fancy necklaces, since the metal mounts of such items can prevent accurate X-radiography of the pearls. The laboratory staff usually advise customers whether X-radiography of an item is likely to be successful or not at the time of submission.

Testing Methods

All pearls submitted are examined by direct X-radiography, and where necessary X-ray fluorescence techniques are also used. These techniques provide the main tests used on all the pearls that pass through the laboratory. The tests will ultimately confirm whether the pearls are natural, cultured, non-nucleated (also referred to as tissue nucleated cultured pearls) or imitation.

Pearl Identification Report

Details quantity, weight, size, shape, color, origin, mollusk, environment and detectable treatments. For loose, mounted or strung pearls.