The importance of age to establish their true value of pearls. And even if they are false ♦
Do you want to know how old your pearl necklace is? Maybe it’s interesting information if you want to buy or sell the jewel of particular value. Also because some cultivated pearls, and artificially treated, with time lose luster and, therefore, their value not only aesthetic, but also commercial. The value of the pearls, in fact, is determined by a combination of brightness, color, size, lack of surface defects and symmetry. All things being equal, however, the bigger the pearl, the more precious it is. Large, perfectly round pearls are rare and much appreciated, while teardrop-shaped pearls are often used in pendants.
The problem of age remains. On average, pearls are harvested after one year for Akoya, grown in Japan and China, while it takes two to four years for the dark ones of Tahiti and the white or golden ones of the South Seas. It takes two to seven years. to get those of fresh water.
If you need to know the age of your pearls more precisely, you should contact a specialized laboratory. But they are few: the SSEF, the Swiss Gemological Institute, can boast of being the first gemological laboratory in the world able to introduce, as an additional service for customers, the dating of the pearls.
The method used is the one played in the scientific field for the dating of archaeological finds, using the 14 (14C) carbon method. In fact, pearls are made of calcium carbonate: for this in contact with vinegar or with acidic materials they melt (be careful).
The system is interesting especially if it is necessary to determine the historical background of antique jewelry, of particular value. Not only that: the analysis system can also be used to identify frauds, for example, when younger beads are mounted on antique jewelry, or have been treated to look older. An opportunity that can become fundamental, for example, for some pieces that are auctioned. The method has already been successful in some symbolic cases. For example, to date the natural pearls recovered from a ship wrecked in Indonesia and dating back to 1200. Federico Graglia