Cultured Pearls are just as real as the natural variety. They grow inside the mollusk in exactly the same way. They are not imitation, and they are not fake. A cultured pearl necklace is as genuine as its natural cousin. The majority of cultured pearls available today derive from freshwater mussels and saltwater pearl oysters. Although all pearls develop in the same way, the cultured pearl requires some human assistance to get the process started.
To do this, the pearl farmer inserts a small bead or section of mantle tissue under the mollusk's shell. Nature then takes over. The animal begins to deposit layers of nacre around the irritating substance, slowly building up the cultured pearl. Cultured pearls so closely resemble the natural variety that experts often find it difficult to tell the two types apart. A final determination frequently requires the use of an X-ray to identify the initial irritant deep in the pearl's interior.
How to clean pearls?
Because of their delicate nature, pearls should always be cared for with caution. Always put pearls on after soap, make-up, lotions, and hair products have been applied. A good reminder is that when getting ready, the very last thing one should do is put on one’s pearls. It is also wise to avoid any chemicals, even jewellery cleaners. Nothing more than mild soap, water, and a soft cloth should be used for cleaning pearls, and they should be re-strung periodically to ensure the cord holding them is sturdy. Lastly, store pearls away from other jewellery, as pearls can too easily become scratched or worn down by metals and other gemstones.