Here are some fool-proof ways for spotting fake jewellery, whether it is a dainty baby handprint necklace, a string of pearls, diamond earrings or gold bangles.
Is the price too good to be true? Then it probably is. Real jewellery, especially rare items, can be costly. So, if you see a diamond-studded bracelet and it only sells for a meagre price, then it is most probably fake. Price is a good indicator of whether a piece of jewellery is real or fake.
Always go with a known and respectable seller; you will never go wrong. However, if you opt to buy from an unknown seller who does not have a solid reputation for selling genuine jewellery, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. When buying jewellery, do not trust online sites where you cannot check the authenticity of the item.
If the seller does not have a return policy, then the product is probably fake. Sellers, especially online ones, who refuse returns perhaps sell phoney jewellery. Not being able to check the item personally before purchasing it is a very risky move. It’s too big a risk to part with a huge sum of money for fake jewellery.
Jewellery sold in the United Kingdom – whether, silver, palladium, platinum or gold – has a hallmark that indicates the purity of the metal. The Hallmarking Act of 1973 requires jewellers to have this hallmark to protect their consumers.
Jewellery makers, especially those who make expensive pieces, have their own hallmark that you can check. Check logos to see if anything is amiss. Fakers usually get something wrong in the logo, so it should be something to look out for – the spelling, font, etc.
You can spot a piece of fake jewellery by its quality. Genuine jewellery does not have quality issues, such as links that look pinched, or bands that have scratches on them. The look of the jewellery should be fine. Rings that have stones mounted on them should not have any imperfections; the mounting should be solid.
If you are going to buy diamond jewellery, it should come with a certificate proving its authenticity. All other jewellery should come with care instructions and details about the manufacturer. When reading the documents that come with the jewellery, check the spelling and grammar as well; it is another tell-tale sign of authenticity.
Test the metal
You can do some simple tests to see if what you bought is authentic. The first one is the magnet test – for silver or gold jewellery, use a strong magnet on your item. Gold and silver are non-magnetic, so if it sticks to the magnet, it is fake. The fog test is suitable for diamonds. Breathe onto the stone; if it fogs up, it is fake. A diamond does not retain heat, so if you blow air onto it, it should look the same. The skin test is when you wear a piece, and your skin turns green or becomes irritated and itchy. Real silver and gold do not react to the skin.