We would all agree that jewelry is one of those big and costly investments, not just from a financial point of view, but also sentimental. Apart from being considered a luxury way to accessorize one’s attire, jewelry is treasured as an investment in love, commitment and everlasting connection. So, it is important to know what you are paying for when choosing a piece for yourself or someone close to your heart. Be prepared to hear that we are living in times when anything is possible, including being recklessly ripped off, which has actually become quite common nowadays. Stay with us to learn how to identify if your jewelry is worth your money and affection or not.
Step No. 1 – INSPECT THE HALLMARKS
The smartest and most important thing to do before purchasing a particular piece of jewelry is to see if there are any hallmarks engraved into the metal. If you did not do that when buying yours, now it is the right time to do it so. Usually, the hallmark identifies the metal that the jewelry is made of. The most common gold markings are: “750”, “10K”, “14K” and “18K”. Markings for silver jewelry include: “925”, “800” and “Sterling”. As for platinum jewelry, it is identified as: “950”, “PLAT” and “PLATINUM”.
Modern designs may also feature the logo or signature mark of the manufacturer. All these details can be often found in the inner part of rings and bracelets, the posts of earrings and on the clasps of necklaces. Their presence or absence tells a lot about the authenticity and quality of the jewelry in question.
Note: If your jewelry does not have a hallmark, you should take it to a jewelry appraiser to provide you with an accurate information about its identity.
Step No. 2 – CHECK OUT THE WEIGHT
The second part of the test is a little bit trickier, especially if you are a novice in this field. Most of the ripped off customers are actually shoppers of necklaces and bangles, because these designs are the easiest to implement fake, cheap metals, such as brass, copper and pewter. Remember that gold and silver are heavy metals, so if you have allegedly bought a gold necklace but it feels quite light on the hand, it is probably not made of gold.
Fake jewelry can be also distinguished from fine-quality jewelry by the level of smoothness. For example, your gold jewelry is worth the money if it is shiny, nicely polished and it does not feature dark spots along the surface. Moreover, when platinum and gold start wearing down, the layer of metal that gets revealed has to be of the same color. If it is not, that is bad news for you – you have given your money to the wrong “jeweler”.
Step No. 3 – CHECK OUT THE SETTING
If you are worried about the authenticity of your ring, especially if it holds a special sentimental value for you (ex. engagement ring, bridal set or a ring of promise), another feature that will give you some significant traces in your investigation, is the stone setting. Check out the piece of metal that holds the center stone. For example, if the stone is mounted in prong setting, make sure that the metal claws are not loose or in worse-case-scenario, glued to the band.
You do not have to apply a lot of force while performing this, because if the ring is fake, it means that the setting is fake as well and will easily fall apart. Fine jewelry is always well-crafted and nothing is left to chance, when it comes to design, quality and endurance.
Step No. 4 – INSPECT THE STONES
When figuring out if your jewelry is worth the purchase, it is inevitable to verify if the stone(s) embellishing the piece match the description. One of the biggest frauds happening on the jewelry market are done by selling cubic zirconia as diamond and moissanite. The advantage for the con artists is that all three stones have the same color appearance, hence, they can be easily mistaken if you are not a jewelry/diamond expert. Here is a quick and simple test to perform at home to find out if your diamond jewelry is fake or real. It is called “The Fog Test”.
- Hold the jewelry piece between two fingers and blow out a puff or air towards the diamond. This will create a light fog on the stone, caused by the heat and moisture in your breath. If a real diamond, the fog will dissipate right away. If the stone keeps its foggy look for a bit longer, it is definitely a fake one. To see other similar methods that can be performed at home to help your determine if your diamond jewelry is worth the value it has been sold for, click the following link.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU OWN ESTATE JEWELRY?
The sentimental value of estate jewelry is huge, that is for sure. Estate jewelry is usually heirloom jewelry that has been in the family for many years, maybe centuries, thus making it obvious why adornments of this kind hit spectacular numbers on auctions. The most spectacular designs of antique jewelry come from the Edwardian and Art Deco period, although it is quite rare to see them nowadays in personal collections; most of them are preserved in museums.
The only way to figure out if your heirloom jewelry is worth being called “estate”, you need to let it be evaluated by a certified jewelry appraiser. A useful information to retain is that it is normal for estate jewelry to not be in a perfect condition. Since it has already been worn by someone else in the past, it could feature an old, worn-out look or be damaged. However, a small damage should not be a reason for concern, because it is not the major indicator of whether your estate jewelry is worth and how much it is worth it.