Simulated pearls are beads designed to look like pearls. Manufactured often in glass or plastic, there are a number of industrially produced coatings. One of the best known, "Majorcan Pearls", consist of glass beads are coated with the exotically sounding "essence d'orient", originally a creation of the late 18th century, created by dissolving fish scales in alcohol to form a thick syrupy paste, into which the glass beads are dipped.
There is a simple and effective test to determine whether pearls are real or simulated, gently rub the pearl bead across the edge of a tooth, if it feels gritty it is real, if completely smooth it's simulated! A very easy test that will give an instant, easy, and accurate answer, to one of the most commonly asked questions!