Answers from Our Experts (1)
Many Chinese people believe that pearls are the fountain of youth, so when visiting Sanya, China’s newly booming beach resort, pearls are the best thing to bring home. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, so before you visit one of the city’s markets to find the ones that best suit your tastes, there are two things you need to know before you buy.
First, the pearl necklaces, bracelets, earrings and various other baubles sold on the beach are fake. Unless you want to waste your money on a souvenir with little value, don’t bother buying these items.
Second, there’s a difference between “fake” and “factory rejects” when it comes to pearls. Fakes aren’t even part of the pearl family, while rejects are pearls that have slight imperfections and were tossed out by the factories. Here’s how you can easily spot the difference between the two: If the color of the pearl comes off when you scratch it, the pearl is fake. A real pearl has a powdery effect when scratched, but the color and surface of the pearl won’t be affected. If you’re serious about investing in a strand, ask your hotel to arrange a guide to go with you to the market to point you to the best places to buy pearls and do some negotiating with the vendors on your behalf.