Finally remembered to hunt up both my 1970’s puka necklaces and try to discover if either of them are real pukas… and coincidentally wear them! It is summer here in the Northern Hemisphere.
From what I could tell, Wikipedia has the best explanation of how to tell if the shells are real. The necklace in the above 2 photos is probably the most authentic. Seems you need to have real ridges (just like Ruffles potato chips, but I’m dating myself) inside each shell. It also helps if the hole used to string them together doesn’t look like it’s been drilled. Irregular shapes in both the shell and the holes & ridges should indicate the real things.
I’m pretty certain this necklace has both dyed shells and man-made ‘puka’ shells. See how smooth all the edges are? Doesn’t matter to me, tho’. They looked great together anyway!