Knowing how to tell the difference between quality jewelry from a high-quality fake can save you from the hassle of buying necklaces, rings, and bracelets that are not worth their price. But how do you determine jewelry that’s worth thousands from those that are worth just a few dollars?
Inspect the Stone Settings
High-quality costume jewelry may use prongs just like fine jewelry, but the stones are often just glued into place. Remember that fine jewelry sold in reputable jewelry stores in Washington is well crafted and each of the stones is often set in intricate prong setting.
If you have some pieces of jewelry that look like their stones are just glued into the setting, and there are no prongs to hold them, these are likely not valuable.
Look for the Hallmarks
When acquiring a new piece of jewelry, see to it that you look for hallmarks. These markings can tell you the metal content of a jewelry piece, its designer, manufacturer, or country of origin. These markings are often located in the inside of a ring or bracelet, the clasp of a necklace, or the post of an earring.
All fine jewelry should have some type of hallmark unless the piece you’re looking at is more than 100 years old or the hallmark has worn off. If the item looks new but doesn’t have any hallmark, it’s likely just costume jewelry.
Check the Weight of the Jewelry
Precious metals such as gold and silver are heavier compared with their fake counterparts such as brass and pewter. If you’re buying gold jewelry, use a caliper to measure its diameter, size, thickness, and weight.
If it doesn’t match the usual dimension of its kind, it’s likely just gold clad or mixed with other metals. You can also drop the jewelry in water. Real gold sinks because of its weight.
The next time you’re out shopping for new jewelry, make sure to check the hallmarks, the prongs, and the item’s weight to ensure you’re buying genuine fine jewelry, and not a high-quality knockoff.