Fake or real

How to tell if a mother of-pearl button is real

Sadly, there are a lot of plastic imitation buttons masquerading as real mother of pearl buttons out there.  Kanukama is proud that our mother of pearl buttons are completely 100% real. We know this as we have gone to the source to check. But if you want to double check, here are some quick tests that you can carry out – and none require any expensive scientific equipment apart from your eyes, ears and teeth ….

  1. The kiss test - A real mother of pearl button will feel cooler to the touch compared to a plastic one as mother of pearl does not retain as much heat. The best way to tell the temperature difference is by giving them a quick kiss and touch with your lips to find out which one is colder than the other. 

  2. The back test - Check the back of the button – plastic buttons have backs that are usually pristine white. The backs of real mother of pearl buttons are slightly more mottled or darker in colour – and for Kanukama buttons – our backs are usually more golden than the front.
  1. The colour test - Plastic buttons are more starkly white, while real mother of pearl buttons are a softer shade of white. And for our Kanukama buttons, there will also be hints of gold scattered across their surface.
  1. The "I’m not perfect" test - A real mother of pearl button will have some imperfections – ridges, bumps, lumps, and holes – as it is made from a natural material. These imperfections add character and reflect the light more. They make a real mother of pearl button far more interesting than boring, dull, flat, fake plastic ones.
  1. The Wizard of the Oz test - A good mother of pearl button will catch the light and reflect the colours around it. So if your button is dull in the light, you know it’s not real.
  1. The tooth test - Gently rub the button against your teeth. A plastic button will feel smooth against your tooth but a mother of pearl one has a texture and will feel grittier. Just don’t suddenly gasp in amazement, breath in and swallow it by mistake.
  1. The nail test - For those who don’t bite their nails to the quick – rub your nail across the mother of pearl button. It should feel grittier than a plastic one.




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