IMITATION AND DOCTORED PEARLS
common with all other precious things, pearls have been long imitated.
The early method of making imitation or "mock-pearls" as they were
called, was to cut them out of the mother-of-pearl and polish them.
Another crude way was to make solid beads of glass containing various
ingredients which gave them a slight similarity to the nacreous luster
of the pearl. Beads of gypsum or alabaster were soaked in oil and
coated with wax. The scales of the bleak fish dissolved in liquid
ammonia or vinegar, was also used for covering beads, the solution
imparting a somewhat pearly appearance.
coat one thousand ounces of glass beads, a French manufacturer used
three ounces of fish-scales, one ounce white wax, one ounce pulverized
alabaster and half an ounce fine parchment glue. Another made beads of
opal glass which he covered with several layers of