Simulated Japanese Pearl Beads

     Imitation Pearls or Simulated Pearl Beads were introduced at a production level in the United States during the 1920’s to the 1940’s.

What are Imitation Pearl Beads?

     The actual manufacturing of imitation Pearls is very close to the culturing of oysters for cultured Pearls. Here’s how it is done. The oyster is opened slightly and then an object similar to a tiny pebble is put into the oyster; then to protect itself the oyster secretes a coating over the foreign entity. Over the course of one to two years it gets larger and larger and it becomes a Cultured Pearl. It is then harvested when it has reached its desired size. The majority of Pearls sold today are cultured Pearls and as technology has progressed, larger & more near perfect Pearls are being created.

     After World War II Japan was producing Cultured Pearls.  It was a very natural progression for the Japanese to start manufacturing Imitation Pearls. As a result though trial & error Japan perfected the process and they produce the finest quality Imitation Pearls in the world and there is nothing that can compare.

     Vintage Beads Wholesale is one of a handful of suppliers in the world that carries these vintage, high quality Imitation Japanese Pearl Beads with an inventory costing over a million dollars.

     Japan’s peak production was in the 1960’s to 1980’s. The demand for this high-quality product decreased as jewelry manufacturing in the United Sates closed over the years and a lesser expensive poorer quality pearl was being produced in other countries. All of our Pearl Beads are Vintage and are from Japan. has many customers in Japan that are purchasing these Vintage Pearl beads from us to use in their Beading & Jewelry Designing Projects.

     The most popular colors of Imitation Pearls are a Cultura which is a creamy very light-yellow pigment and White Lustre which has a pure white iridescence. Additionally, there are other colors such as gold, silver, grey, black, pink, peach purple, cranberry etc. that are also available.

     The process for making Imitation Pearls is quite unique (trying to imitate the natural pearl making process). Beads can either be made from glass or acrylic lucite. Once the pearl bead is molded to size and shape then the pearlizing process begins by dipping and drying. The more dips the richer the effect on these vintage beads.

     Pearl beads are used in many different industries such as embroidery, jewelry making, crafting, garment embellishments, decorating and floral arrangements…

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