Since there is no mark or maker on these pearls I will do my best to describe some of the qualities that cannot be seen in a photo. These look and feel like real pearls to an untrained eye. They are an off-white/cream color and heavily weighted. They are also strung as a graduated strand, however they are not individually knotted. The clasp looks like it might be made of silver. Because they are heavy they sort of clink when they drop together (onto your hand or on to a table.) Don’t be fooled however! These pearls are leaded glass and (in my experience) are also likely painted with high lead paint to achieve the “almost real” pearl finish!
When tested with an XRF instrument these pearls came in at 125,700 (+/- 5.8k) ppm lead (Pb). They were negative for cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As), and mercury (Hg). For comparison, lead is considered toxic in newly manufactured items intended for use by children at 90 parts per million lead and higher. 90,000 ppm lead is equal to 9% lead. These faux pearls are more than 12% lead.
My concern with costume jewelry like this is that children (or even older teens and young women) are often seen with the strand of pearls pulled up from their neck and partly draped in their mouth as a fidget, it’s a very common thing to observe even if you don’t think you would be likely to do that yourself. Of course it is never a good idea to put anything with lead in it in your mouth. Additionally for the faux pearls that are often painted with high lead paint (and therefore often test positive with a reactive agent swab test), the micro-dust of the paint can easily wear off on the wearers’ hands, especially given the age of many of these pearls (often from the 1940s and 50s.)
#SimpleSolution, #SaferChoice: buy only REAL pearl necklaces (modern real pearls actually can be found in fairly inexpensive options) – and ideally with really silver clasps. Alternately choose necklaces with natural stones. Here is a post with more information about that!
As always, please let me know if you have any questions!