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When it comes to jewelry, vintage or costume pieces are not worthless, some are incredibly beautiful and can complete any outfit by blinging on a budget. You may have inherited a box of bling from an aunt or grandmother who has passed and wish to know which pieces are real and need particular attention when it comes to taking care of them or wearing them with pride on a night out. It may be that you are looking to spend your holiday money on a statement piece that you can, someday, hand down to your children. If you are looking to buy precious stones and metals though, the last thing you want is to be fooled into thinking you have the real thing or pay genuine jewelry prices for imitation pieces either. These tips will help you spot costume or fake jewelry from the real thing.

Master the Markings

The very first thing to check for are any markings on the jewelry. This is important as many metals from silver-plated to sterling silver, or palladium looks the same to an untrained eye. Most of the time, jewelry will have markings on them that indicate the type of metal and purity. For example, a 10k gold ring will have the marking for 10k directly on the ring. On earrings, it’ll be visible on the back. In necklaces and bracelets, it’ll be near the clasp on a tag or directly on the fastener or link.

Sterling Stamps

The word “Sterling” will be stamped on the metal. It could have “.925” as a stamp. Some sterling silver has “925”, which means that the silver is 92.5 percent silver.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

A number followed by the letter “k” or the word “karat” will be stamped on the metal. Gold that is 10k might have “.417” stamped on it as well. 14 karat gold could have “.585” on it. 18 karat gold might have “.750” stamped on the gold itself.

Plain As Platinum

Platinum will be marked with the word “plat” or “platinum” as a stamp. Sterling silver with gold plating will be marked, Vermeil. Manufacturers like Tiffany will have their stamp on each item, too. This isn’t always proof, though, since manufacturers are only required to provide information about the metal content, but they may do that with a tag or an invoice after purchase.

Worn Out Wares

In locations where the jewelry might have rubbed against the skin, check for discoloration, if a piece is gold-plated, the gold can wear and show the real metal underneath. If you are wearing a ring that causes and skin discoloration such as going green, it is more than likely that the metal isn’t real gold or silver. If, when you place the item of jewelry under a bright light, a visible tint appears in those worn areas, it may indicate a plated piece. Fake metals will have a plating of rhodium over them, and this is what makes them shiny and white. When these are viewed under such a light, the worn areas will look very naturally yellow.

Genuine Gems

It’s obvious to point out gems in costume or fake piece of jewelry won’t be real. Such articles can still add very real glamor to your ensemble but may only be crystals, plastic, rhinestones or simulated gems. What do you do if you are looking for the real thing?  Once you’ve tested the metal itself, it may well indicate whether the stone is possibly real or not as it is unlikely real precious metal will be adorned with fake rocks. If it is genuine diamonds you are looking for you may also be unsure where to go and what you are looking for with so many outlets competing for our custom. Do your homework. Look for independent opinions such as Whiteflash Review – Are their diamonds the best cut around? These will help you decide where best to flash your cash for the best stones for your budget. Professional jewelers will also be able to test your jewelery should you still be unsure over its quality, using techniques that will determine whether your jewelry is real as well as the purity of the metal itself.


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