Imitation Pearls in France
To achieve the perfect imitation pearl has been the goal of numerous European beadmakers for over 700 years. In France, the art of making false-pearls spread rapidly after Jacquin discovered how to fill hollow glass beads with a pearl-like substance in the 17th century. Since that time, many diverse recipes have been tried and used to satisfy the French public's enormous appetite for affordable, yet elegant, imitations of fine pearls. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, these types of beads became even more popular than before, as they emerged as the principal components of costume jewelry worn by celebrated stage personalities.