Your jewelry is something you treasure, and for good reason. There is a lot of special significance attached to jewelry, such as an engagement, a special event, a birthday, or other occasion. So you want to make sure that the jewelry you purchase and receive is the real deal.
It says a lot about the person who gave it to you, that they cared enough to purchase real gemstones, gold, silver, or other materials. But how do you tell? Here are 7 tips you can use to verify the authenticity of jewelry.
Oh, How Thoughtful!
- Have your jewelry appraised. A good appraiser who specializes in fine jewelry will be able to tell you in a minute or two whether your jewelry is made of precious stones or if they are imitations. Look around and do a search online for the best jewelry appraiser in your area and don’t forget to have them print out a copy of their conclusion for safe-keeping. This will make it more valuable later if you decide to sell the jewelry or include it in your estate. It’s also imperative for getting your jewelry insured.
- Compare your jewelry’s gold to the gold of a similar piece of jewelry yourself. Oftentimes you can tell by looking when comparing two items. Genuine gold has a shiny appeal to it and a purity which fake gold does not have. Also, some watches and jewelry use gold over sterling silver, which means that the gold you see if real, but there is no gold underneath.
- Look up your item online for a price check and description. If your item is not TOO unique, you may be able to find it with a Google search, or on a popular jewelry site.
1. Shop around at different jewelers, both online and in the ‘real world.’ Consider purchasing your gift jewelry “in person,” because this way you will be able to better see if it is authentic or not. Ask the jeweler where the watch or jewelry came from and ask for an appraisal form with the estimated value.
2. When shopping in person, ask to see the item in a real catalog too, for comparison, to make sure the item is the same as in the brochure and not a substitute. Sometimes a jeweler will run out of a particular item so they substitute similar items. This is not illegal but it should be clear which item you are getting and what its true value is.
Related: Buying Diamonds Online vs. In Store
3. Deal with a jeweler who accepts returns if the item is defective or not as described. This is the standard proof of honesty online and many jewelers have started to adopt this philosophy as well. They don’t have to have a 100% guarantee, but ask what type of policy they have that protects you if the jewelry is not authentic or there is a problem.
4. Finally, deal with a local jeweler you know if at all possible who knows the difference between authentic jewelry, carries a good supply of genuine, high-quality items, and also allows you to sell back jewelry to them.
Remember, whether you are receiving it or buying for someone else, your jewelry is special. Make sure it’s genuine and authentic and deal with a reputable jeweler who understands your concerns and can help you make the best choice.