We never thought that we would have to write a blog about real versus fake Edison pearls. Zhan Weijian, the inventor of Edison Pearls, trained many farmers in Zhuji City in China on the breakthrough techniques that make Edison Pearls so superior, which he developed after 20 years of research and testing in collaboration with the Zhejiang University. Unfortunately, some of these farmers were seduced by the prospect of making a quick buck, and with that, they’re bringing the reputation of Edison Pearls into disrepute – a trend that Mr. Zhan is very concerned about.
Quality Standards of Edison Pearls
Edison Pearls are cultivated by using a new technique – one that they’re keeping secret – to produce exquisite, large, and lustrous pearls in a variety of colors, and best of all, at affordable prices. This changed the pearl industry forever. There is now more variety, more creative designs, and at a price the everyday woman can afford.
Real Edison Pearls are grown inside the mussel for at least three years before they are harvested. The nacre layers of these pearls are at least 1.5-2mm thick, making them durable so they can keep their luster and color for many generations.
There is no regulatory body in the Chinese pearl industry that enforces quality standards or minimum nacre thickness. This means that any farmer can follow their own rules, even produce low-quality pearls and get away with it.
The inventors of Edison Pearls have set high quality-standards for themselves that farmers need to adhere to, and they’ve worked hard for years to build a reputation in the market of producing superior pearls, something that they deserve completely. But since these standards aren’t enforcible, the inventors have no recourse if farmers don’t adhere to their quality specifications.
Fake Edison Pearls and the Rise of Live Mussel Opening Parties
Live oyster opening parties have become a popular event, selling low-quality pearls to unsuspecting buyers through live auctions, mostly on social media. We’ve warned readers about this trend before; read more about it here.
About a year ago, some local farmers and retailers in Zhuji decided to capitalize on this popular trend. They created what’s called “Live mussel opening parties” following the same recipe, but by advertising their pearls as Edison Pearls, creating the perception that these pearls would be of the same quality the market has come to expect from Edison Pearls.
They use the same techniques they learned from the inventor of Edison Pearls, but with one big difference – and this deviation is making all the difference when it comes to the quality of the pearls. Instead of leaving the pearls inside the mussel for at least three years as they should, they sell the pearls, or the mussels with pearls inside, after only six months. This means that the nacre thickness of these pears is extremely thin – hardly covering the core.
Why is this important to know?
Because it means that, although the pearls look great when taken out of the mussels, these pearls will lose their luster and color within a year. They will easily get damaged as the nacre is not thick enough to withstand normal wear and tear. And worst of all, because of the hype around these parties, they may sell the pearls at highly inflated prices – even more than what real, high-quality Edison Pearls are sold for.
These pearls are not Edison Pearls. Their cultivation process may start off the same way, but the quality is severely wanting, and they won’t pass the strict quality criteria set by the inventors themselves.
How to Make Sure You Buy Real, Not Fake Edison Pearls?
When you invest in something like pearls, you want to buy high-quality products so that you can enjoy their beauty and elegance, not only during your own lifetime, but for that of generations to come. And the only way your pearls would keep their luster and beauty for so long, is if you buy real pearls.
So be careful when you choose where to buy your pearls. At Timeless Pearl we work directly with the inventors of Edison Pearls and it’s our mission to maintain their reputation. Browse our shop for real Edison Pearls that would keep their magnificence for years.