12 top tips on how to spot a fake jewellery item.
Gone are the days of the man on the street corner selling watches from inside his coat, a glittering neck chain with a promise of 24ct gold, “genuine mate, you wont find it cheaper”, I’ve seen my fair share believe me. From the aforementioned shady fella pulling boxes from the back of his shiny BMW to the very colourful Tommy Hilfiger watch I bought for my then girlfriend from a trusted source, only to be acquainted by headline in the Sunday paper stating “Why is this watch fake?” (insert large picture of said watch) – “because Tommy Hilfiger don’t make watches!” of course red faced and angry at the merchant who had sold it to me it’s something we laugh about 20 years down the line!! I live by the philosophy of “Buy Cheap, Buy Twice” or “You get what you pay for” but it’s not always as simple as knowing it’s fake or purposely buying something cheap because you know a guy that knows someone that got them off the back of a lorry.
We’ve heard of reports of companies like Kay Jewellers swapping out diamonds for Glass stones and Gemstones to unsuspecting customers and with the rise in synthetic diamonds and cheap imports it’s easy to be dazzled by the glamour and cheap prices in an economy thats proving tougher to live in. So have you ever been tempted to buy fake jewellery? Maybe you purchased jewellery without doing neccesary checks, I mean who does that anyway, we trust the high-street jewellers don’t we?
So if you have doubts or are just curious here’s a few things to help you on your way:
1: Check your Hallmark
Check your jewellery for a stamp or hallmark. 9 Carat Gold, 14 Carat Gold, 18 Carat Gold, 22 Carat Gold, 950 Platinum, 950 Silver. There are only 4 assay offices in the UK. These are London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. Always check for these hallmarks.
Examples of hallmarks for precious metals
2: Check Your sources
Is the item being sold online on an auction site like ebay, or Shpock? Does the seller have an original image, or has it been stolen from a reputable company? If you can’t see the jewellery item in the photograph, it’s not clear, our advice is – Don’t buy it. Check with the seller if it has a certificate of authenticity or a Diamond Certification such as IGI or EGL for instance.
3: Check your returns Policy/Warranty
Does the item come with a return policy or warranty? You should have at least 14 days to bring the jewellery product back as standard. This can give you peace of mind that you can get it checked out by a third party for insurance purposes.
4: Check the item quality
The links on any good quality bracelet or necklace are NOT pinched together, they should be soldered together and really smooth. Good Diamonds will chip but not generally scratch easily. So check the quality of the stones.