Just a quick note about pearls.  When you see an item of jewellery featuring pearls, it might be an idea to ask the question, "Are they genuine pearls?"  Freshwater pearls are produced enmass these days and therefore these pearls, which have a beautiful lustre, can be found at quite reasonable cost.


The cost depends on the quality and size.  Odd shaped pearls tend to be cheaper than perfectly round pearls, but nonetheless can still have that beautiful pearl shine and the differences in shapes can add to the attractiveness of a piece of jewellery.  They also come in all sorts of colors, from creamy white through to a silvery mauve.  These days pearls appear in jewellery shops in many colors from black, grey, bottle green, to reds, bright pinks and yellows.  This is because real pearls can be dyed these colours.  It doesn’t necessarily mean the pearls are fake.  Smaller pearls, often used in baby jewellery and children’s jewellery, are less expensive than the larger ones used in adult jewellery such as rings and necklaces.


Fake pearls are not really much cheaper than freshwater pearls.  They can be made of glass, acrylic and even plastic, and these can often look very like a real pearl, though there are differences in look and feel.  Swarovsky make a beautiful pearl which is hard to pick as “not the real thing.”


Seawater pearls are very similar but are generally more expensive.  Some, such as the Akoya pearls, have a reputation for perfection in every way, and are very expensive.  Akoya pearls are worth looking at if you want a very special item and you are prepared to pay for it!


In baby and children’s jewellery, generally freshwater pearls, in a smaller size, are used.  If they are set in sterling silver or gold, you are unlikely to find acrylic, glass or plastic pearls, though fake pearls abound in cheaper children’s jewellery. 

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