Definitions for "Imitation pearls"
are any pearls entirely manufactured to look like natural or cultured pearls. There are two types: one variety is composed of hollow or solid glass beads coated with essense d'orient, which is produced from the scales of certain types of fish. The other variety, known as "shell-based pearls", are imitation pearls coated with a substance like nail polish and then lacquered. There are also numerous plastic imitation pearls on the market. See Mallorca.
Imitation pearls are man-made.
Manufactured products composed of any material that simulates in appearance pearls or cultured pearls without possessing their physical, chemical, or optical properties or their crystal structure. They are made most often by dipping a glass, plastic, or mother-of-pearl bead into a solution made from fish scales, which provide the pearly glow. Imitation or simulated pearls must be labeled as such.