I have always been a pearl lover, it is not only my birthstone but the organic gemstone has always lured me to its one-of-a-kind beauty. The rarest of the pearls are Natural Pearls and the hunt for them are challenge I love taking on. It is extremely difficult to differentiate a natural pearl from a cultured pearl unless you x-ray the pearl to see what is inside. Like in any piece of jewelry, looking at it as a whole is extremely important.
When I am looking at pearls in estate collections, I look at the strand, the silk it is strung on, and the clasp. If a strand looks like natural pearls but is strung on a silver clasp, my inclination is that they are probably not a natural strand. Not to say that it is impossible to have a silver clasp on a natural strand of pearls because someone may have restrung it with a different clasp but this is something to keep in mind. When I think I found a natural strand I always send it to a laboratory for verification and authenticity before I sell it. Working with a reputable jeweler that stands by their pieces is extremely important. Even an expert can be wrong, so having a third party verification with appropriate equipment is important.
Current TV Series like The Crown has brought the classic and timeless strand of pearls back into fashion.
All of a sudden my 14 year old is asking me for a strand of pearls because of the infamous Veronica Lodge of Riverdale's signature strand.