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 FavoriteBlings.com
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FavoriteBlings.com/Blogs With Benefits...                                                    
How to Spot Fake Jewelry...Here's a List of 
Things to Look For So You're Not Fooled by 
Jewelry Counterfeiters 

These are Some Tips to Help You Recognize Fakes That 
are Disguised  as the Real Thing 

Fake jewelry by the ton, with forged designer signatures and fake hallmarks, is imported 
from Asia regularly to be sold as authentic, bearing suspiciously low price tags. Millions 
of cheap imitations are fraudulently offered as real -- imposters like glass that masquerades 
as diamonds, phony or mislabeled gemstones, lead pretending to be gold, and dangerous 
toxic metal jewelry with a documented history of harming children and adults. And there 
are mountains of cheaply recreated old and vintage jewelry, the counterfeit imposters 
being sold as genuine.

                                               

All this fake jewelry is online, can turn up at flea markets, church bazaars, street fairs and 
flea market sales. The sellers of this counterfeit jewelry might be uninformed, or misinformed, 
or basically just dishonest. None of those situations are in your best interest.

For one thing, it really is true what some people say; if you buy cheap, you buy twice! And 
with millions of knockoffs and fakes embellished with phony hallmarks cluttering the 
marketplace, you've got to be smart in order to protect yourself from these stealthy jewelry 
counterfeiters.

Remember this: you usually get what you pay for. So here are some things to look for and 
be aware of when you're jewelry shopping:

This is handy - get your hands on a strong magnet -- because if your jewelry is gold or silver, 
it won't be attracted to that magnet. Only real gold and sterling silver would be allergic to a 
magnet -- so if your piece is drawn to it, it's not authentic.

And know this -- if you're shopping for precious metal jewelry in the US, should carry a mark 
or stamp or hallmark that tells you its gold or silver content somewhere on the piece. Some 
international pieces may not carry a mark, but that's when you look for that magnet.

Be vigilant. Trust your instincts if something doesn't feel right. If it seems too good to be true, 
it probably is. And be sure you know who you're dealing with -- buy from a reliable source.


                                          

GOLD HALLMARKS

In the US, "karats" is how your gold content is measured, and karats tells you what percent 
of your item is gold. Karats are commonly 8K (which starts as .333, or 33.3% gold) 10K, 12K, 
14K, 18K, up to 24K (which is 100% pure gold). If an item is called "solid gold", that says 
that no other metal was used in creating that piece. And just so you know, anything lower than 
8K can't be stamped or called “karat gold."

Here's some more info that can be helpful -
-- gold tone - means the piece is just gold colored, it's shiny but there's no real gold
-- gold filled - this means that's it's got some gold it in, about 20% gold
-- gold jewelry is sometimes stamped, sometimes hand cast and sometimes hard to read the 
markings, but still could be the real thing; again, try the magnet test, or see an experienced 
professional who can confirm for you (they may charge a small testing fee)

BTW, European gold is marked by a decimal system which is different from the American 
system, so if it's listed as .585, then it's actually 58.5% pure gold, .750, and up to 1.000 -- 
which means it's totally pure gold (like a US-rated 24K gold piece.)

Solid gold jewelry is usually pretty smooth and feels heavier than a fake. And let's say your 
gold piece is showing a different shade where there has been some heavy wear. That should 
alert you that it's probably gold plated, because remember -- even when real gold gets used
over the years, it still stays the same color.


                                                

STERLING SILVER HALLMARKS

If it's sterling silver, it could be marked 925, S925, 92.5, Silver, 800, Sterling or Ster. Those 
marks all mean that the piece is 92.5% pure sterling silver. 

But if any of these stamped marks are missing, that may not mean the piece is fake - it could 
have another kind of official stamp, which could still mean that it's real silver. (Maybe time 
for that magnet test again.)

Or, got a small piece of really soft white cloth? Or a jewelry polishing cloth?

Gently rub it across a small area of your sterling silver jewelry, or the underside of your silver 
piece. You should see a black stain appear on the cloth. That confirms that your piece is 
genuine sterling silver. (Normal tarnish is just what real silver has a tendency to do over time.)

And remember this - real sterling silver is a lot more expensive than those imported pretenders. 
If you got it cheap, you may have gotten what you paid for. So if your price seems too good to be 
true, that's right. 

Of course, a surefire way to tell if it's really a precious metal is to take it to a reputable jewelry 
dealer. They may charge a small fee for testing, but you'll know the answer.

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VINTAGE HALLMARKS, MAKER MARKS, AND MORE

The identifying hallmarks for authentic vintage pieces were usually stamped into the metal. 
They can look pretty crisp and identifiable. But a word of caution -- some older jewelry items 
don't have any maker's or identifying stamp at all, and that's only because they're old. Which 
means that just because there's no stamp, it's not necessarily a fake.

But note that vintage fakes are often hallmarked with a cast mark that looks like a box, or 
a bar, that's perched atop the piece, which makes the jewelry look thicker in that spot. In 
other words, a maker mark that's raised -- not actually pressed into the metal itself -- like a 
separate signature logo or "shield" that looks like it's been added onto that piece should 
set off alarm bells.


IF YOU'RE HUNTING FOR A GEMSTONE IN A PRONG SETTING...

                                    

...check out the size of the prong - really. The imported fakes today sold as vintage have longer 
and thicker prongs -- the prongs fold up over the stone. But back then, the genuine vintage 
jewelry prongs were just long enough to hold fine stones in place. They were practical, shorter 
prongs that showed off more of the gemstone. And check to see if the backs of the gemstones 
have a foil backing and if it's peeling or scratched. (A stone's shimmer is pumped up that way.) 

"Rhinestone" is a very general term that describes faceted stones of either glass or crystal, 
and maybe even lab-created diamante. 

Buying a vintage enameled piece? If it's listed as "vintage", the enamel coating itself should 
be smooth as silk -- absolutely no brush strokes of any kind. That's because the enamel was 
melted under very high heat decades ago, it was not brushed on. And if the piece has a scratch 
in the enamel so you can glimpse shiny metal underneath, walk away from that fake fraud. 
(A scratched true vintage enamel jewelry piece would reveal only a dull color underneath, 
not a metal that's shiny.)

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TO PEARL OR NOT TO PEARL, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION

There are millions of man-made pearls out there, some are deliberately given artificial names 
and imaginary identities to allude to a higher value. Many sport a manufactured high polish and 
iridescence to cleverly disguise them as being worthy of a higher price tag. They're often just 
manmade fakes, counterfeit creations dressed to deceive. (BTW, fake pearls often feel lighter 
than genuine natural pearls.)

Today, most real pearls are farmed. The process involves inserting some material into mollusks 
or other bi-valves. These creatures then produce layers of nacre, which is cherished as the 
iridescent hallmark of gorgeous natural pearls.

Ever try the old familiar "bite me"test? Well, you don't actually bite pearls to test them for 
authenticity. Just gently rub your pearls together, or rub them across a front tooth. Some say 
that if they feel gritty, or create a little resistance, they could be real. 


IS IT REALLY AMBER?

See it, feel it. Here's how the process work. 

Check it out to spot its natural, customary imperfections. Amber could have varied shapes, 
and if they're beads, they can have varied sizes. There could be an air bubble or two, maybe 
an occasional tiny crack. 

Some say you can hold amber, feel it getting a little warm, and then you'll know that it's 
probably authentic. And the price should usually reflect how extraordinary true amber really 
is. (If it's priced much lower than similar amber jewelry pieces, walk away, click away, and 
look elsewhere.)

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A WORD ON BUYING VINTAGE PLASTIC JEWELRY

Please shop smartly and try to proceed with caution.

For instance, some sellers are offering “bakelite” at suspiciously low prices, and it’s not until you 
see the full description that maybe they'll disclose it’s “French Bakelite” or "F Bakelite" which 
may mean "Fakelite". Bakelite repros are being made daily, most of the “Fakelite” is imported.

And when I see a “genuine bakelite” seller who has over a dozen different color combinations 
of EXACTLY the same design, it's hard to believe that the seller found pristine multiples of 
“rare” vintage pieces - almost identical duplicates of “vintage collectible” bakelite pieces - with 
the same pattern, composition, and size that differ only in shades and colors, and all in “pristine” 
and “mint” condition. My alarm bells go off. Yours probably should, too.

                                                                                                    

MORE TIPS FOR JEWELRY SHOPPING PEACE OF MIND

-- A true sterling silver piece can be well worn but still have lots of its original shine, personality,
and value.

-- Real gold has a warm glow after some wear due to years of microscopic scratches -- old gold 
earns its own unique attractive appearance. 

-- Inspect your jewelry carefully. Check to see if the stones are glued or mounted properly.

-- One takeaway I've seen on my own jewelry is that if that if you see green corrosion anywhere 
on the piece, that means copper or brass is the underlying metal. That's not necessarily a bad 
thing, BUT, if it's been called "
solid gold", then you need to get outta there.

-- If your skin is irritated or has turned green from wearing your jewelry, it's probably fake. 
That's because real gold and genuine silver don't generally irritate skin, unless there's a possible 
residue of jewelry cleaning polish which might cause an irritation.

-- Is that online seller using their own original jewelry image or "borrowing" a picture from 
somewhere else? And is it a quality image of the jewelry so you can really examine it clearly?

                                                


BOTTOM LINE: BE A SMART JEWELRY BUYER, ARM YOURSELF WITH 
INFORMATION

Get online and check out the many sources or forums that can help you identify markings, figure 
out hallmarks, and detect telltale signs of jewelry fraud. You can also boost your smarts with a 
book that tells you what to look for, and what to ignore. 

Most important, when you're buying any jewelry item, you should know who you're buying it 
from -- know their reputation, buy from a reliable vendor you can trust. Check out the seller's 
ratings, check out their positive feedback, read their buyers' reviews.

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Please note that these tips for detecting phony jewelry frauds are intended purely as a starting point 
for being aware of counterfeit jewelry. Be sure to check out my Jewelry Blog links below, including
Jewelry Care Tips on How to Protect Your Bling. Thank you for visiting and tell your friends!

Copyright © 2018 FavoriteBlings.com   All rights reserved.

 

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Just Saying Hi - Thanks for Visiting                                  

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10% of annual sales here at FavoriteBlings.com, plus sales at my FavoriteCollectibles shop at Etsy,                       
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