How are Simulated Pearls made today?
By the strict laws of the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines for pearls, it is stated that the terms “real” and “genuine” can only be used for natural pearls unless followed immediately by the term “cultured,” and the term “cultured” immediately preceding the word pearl, “and with equal conspicuity.”
Ads for pearls were often misleading and unclear and sometimes the meaning of how are pearls made, is unclear.
Simulated Pearls or also called Imitation Pearls are divided in Non- Organic and Organic Pearls.
The highest quality of imitation pearls are Majorica pearls.They are considered the world’s finest faux pearls. Majorica pearls from Spain, founded in 1890 by a German immigrant Eduardo Hugo Heusch.
Majorica pearls are those organic simulted pearls which are produced independently from the oyster, but of natural, organic materials. To date, there is only one supplier of this kind of pearl - MAJORICA. The manufacturing process involves the layering of an organic pearlized essence onto a ceramic nucleus, much in the same way an oyster coats an intruding irritant to form a natural Oriental pearl. Each MAJORICA "organic" pearl has the advantage of receiving numerous coatings of this special organic nacre-like substance. The lustre, orient and iridescence of the MAJORICA "organic" pearl is much like a natural Oriental pearl. MAJORICA's "organic" simulated pearls are available at costs considerably lower than cultured pearl products of the same quality. MAJORICA uses a carefully monitored and scientifically controlled process to manufacture all of its pearls, the buyer is guaranteed uniform quality.
In fact, MAJORICA covers all of its pearl jewelry with an international 10-year guarantee honored world wide. A MAJORICA "organic" pearl purchased today will retain its original lustre, orient, iridescence and color for over ten years.
Marjorica pearls history has proven itself to be strict in not letting inferior faux pearls leave the factory.
NON-ORGANIC SIMULATED PEARLS make up a varied category of generally inexpensive pearl-like imitations. Composition of this category can range from painted glass beads to plastic-like beads. Generally speaking, this category of pearls is lacking in any lasting lustre or orient and will probably appear to have a dull or matte finish. Also. non-organic simulated pearls may chip or yellow easily, depending upon how they are made. However, these tend to be the least expensive of the range of pearl product.
Imitation pearls are usually a coated glass bead. Most have a high luster, but not the depth of luster seen on high quality cultured pearls.
One method how pearls are made is Jacquin’s coating the insides of hollow glass beads and filling them with wax.
A second popular way how pearls are made is to coat the outside of solid glass or plastic beads with essence d’orient or pearl powder.
The plastic beads, before being coated, are tumbled in a wet powdered pumice (volcanic glass) to remove grinding marks.
Beads are then dipped into various solutions of pearl film. Each dipping increases the value of the faux pearl. After the dipping, and a final polishing, the fake pearls are ready for stringing. That is how faux pearls are made.
2.5 million impeccable strands of faux pearls enter the market each year, including no doubt, 20 mm faux pearls, fake black pearls and faux graduated pearls.