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Hi are there any Pearl experts out there?

I’m hoping I can find a recommendation here for information about pearls.I’ve looked online but I’m not sure which way to go to educate myself on the different types and how I would price them. Last summer during the pandemic I wasn’t working so I decided to open an eBay store and eventually to open a real store.I bought inventory all summer mostly clothing and handbags but I also stalked and purchased jewelry bundles from on line auctions for estate sales. They were surprise mixed & matched antique & retro jewelry. I have many beautiful gemstone pieces, watches from the 1920’s and at least 100+ pearl necklaces,earrings & bracelets. I’ve researched as much as I can half of them or more pass the grit test on my tooth :grimacing: I can’t seem to find a jeweler around me that know how to confirm they are real or that have any interest in them. I can’t seem to find someone I can trust. They are only interested in gold. I live in South Jersey but am close to center city Philadelphia if anyone could suggest someone’s trustworthy I would appreciate any info or suggestions.
Thank You

Hi Lori,

The Pearls as One course is excellent and it’s still being offered for free. Here is the link: and also a quick video with instructions on how to use redeem the discount code.

Although they don’t talk about pricing I think that this course will help you. Once complete you will receive a certificate of completion from CPAA and you can add “Certified Pearl Specialist” to your credentials.

Best of luck :shamrock:


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Thank You so much for the link ! I am going to set up an appointment today for next week :slight_smile:
Have a great day!
Lori Miller

Hello Wendy,
Thank you so much for the link! I signed up and started it, it’s very informative I’m excited. I actually wanted to ask if it’s completion is time sensitive? I’m starting the 2nd chapter but had to pause and do other stuff. If there is a deadline I’ll have it done and plan my days accordingly.
Thanks so much
Lori Miller

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You’re welcome Lori.

It really is a great course. I powered through it a couple of years ago and I still have access to all the information so I don’t think that there is a time limit on completion.

Think of me when you see the footage of Western Australia :australia: :wink: That’s where I am. And I was virtually clueless about our gorgeous South Sea pearls before doing this course.

All the best!


totally agree. Pearls as one is amazing. You really need to know the difference between good and poor pearls.

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Hi Lori, I wish I had that pile there. I would find a big table or a bunch of trays that I could start sorting on that I wouldn’t have to move around. If you have to use trays to sort, put a towel or cloth on the tray and have another to cover so you can get the trays out later and continue the sort. A table the size of a beach towel would be ideal. Something you can leave and cover or slide under the bed. It’s going to take some time.
First separate the the plastic. You can feel it by weight, look at the drill holes, if paint is piled up or peels off put aside, they are faux. Some faux are pretty nice. If many show peeled off spots, set aside, some of the old glass faux are pretty nice thought rarely valuable. Lay them out as straight strands. Look for dirty pearls that are knotted with stretched thread, like they have been worn a lot. There might be nice strands that were never knotted. Look for pearls that have the coating peeling off. Sort. Look at them in all lights. Unnatural colors are probably dyed or treated fresh water pearls. Group them. Pull the ones that are very beautiful. Group them. You will start to recognize natural imperfections. Notice color play on the surface, like oil on a puddle, greens, pink, maybe blues. Set aside. I have seen old Akoya pearls that look like bubbles lifting off. I have seen many strands brought back from Japan after the war that are really difficult to tell if they are real, that weren’t.
Fresh water pearls do not often have color play. Lay the strands over your arm. If suddenly the pearls and your skin light up, lucky for you. It s best when pearl color complements the skin. Pearls look their best in soft light like at the movies or a not too bright restaurant. Bright spots are special too. Older pearls are often more satiny. In the end beauty in every light probably means great pearls.

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Code did not work (03.24.21). Perhaps expired.

Hi Janis, I am having trouble finding out how to tell the difference between fresh water and salt water pearls. The triple strand necklace I am evaluating has 322, 7.43-7.82mm, light cream colored, excellent matched size and color, with very good luster. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Always be looking for a new code via Google, etc. They really are trying to encourage education about pearls. Here’s another link: Pearls As One Special Offer – CPAA

Darn! Am I too late? I tried logging in to this free course, but I can’t seem to get the free version.

Thank you,


Suggest you contact CPAA if you are having issues. Let them know you are trying to access the PEARLS AS ONE special offer on their website.

Good luck!

I don’t know why no one has mentioned it, but there’s a very good Pearl Specialist course right here on IGS:
Pearl Specialist Mini Course - Pearl Specialist Mini Course - Online Diamonds and Gemology Class - International Gem Society

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