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No Tricks Only Treats

Whether you are gifted jewelry or shopping, it’s sometimes a trick or treats game. Being able to spot the differences between the fakes and the real deal is something I’d recommend educating yourself about. If you want to erase your doubts and come home with a full bag rather than an empty bag, consider these tips below:


Branded items often come with their own hallmark stamp, especially if they are a high end brand. It’s no surprise that many jewelry makers will copy a brand’s successful designs and recreate the hallmark stamp. Some of the most counterfeited jewelry brands include Cartier, Tiffany, Rolex, and Bvlgari.

Some small giveaways will include misspelling, misplacement and incorrect font or size of the hallmark stamp. Knowing the brand’s history is also helpful. Brands sometimes go through changes with their overall looks and may redesign their logo or produce their products with new or better materials. The craftsmanship is also a dead giveaway.  If you are brand loyal and know the signature quality of the products, you will know the purity of the metals they use, the quality of stones and the artistic touches.

High end brands are combating this issue head on and often will include a certificate of authenticity and sometimes a serial number. When in doubt, seek out a jewelry professional or accredited jewelry appraiser, both of which are available at The Gem Collection.


A gemstone that is too perfect often sounds too good to be true. Real gemstones can have natural imperfections within and can be seen clearly with a magnifying glass. You will find internal fractures, feathers, cloudy inclusions or sometimes gas bubbles. Replicas of precious gemstones and diamonds are often created through a mixture of glass and plastic and will have an overly smooth appearance.

When shopping for a particular colored stone or diamond, do some research and get a basic understanding of the stone’s physical properties. Having experience in handling genuine gemstones is very valuable and gives you an advantage but beware of synthetics and simulants. Do not hesitate to ask for an accurate disclosure of information relevant to the jewelry. Fully disclosing diamond enhancements, for example, is both an ethical practice and obligation for jewelry businesses.


In terms of value, do not depend on the price to determine its quality. Is the construction of the jewelry up to standards? For example, if you are looking at an item containing a stone, examine the setting and mounting closely. You may find that the stone is glued in place rather than mounted. Some other obvious clues are the discoloration of the metal. In locations where the jewelry might have rubbed against the skin, the true metal underneath will be revealed. Most fashion or costume jewelry is made from one or more base metals such as copper, iron, nickel, tin or aluminum. The feel of the jewelry is also a good indication. Like fake money, you will know the difference between poor and high quality jewelry based on touch.

Fun Tests

The Magnet Test: Gold, silver and platinum are not magnetic. You can test your metal jewelry with a strong magnet by slowly tilting your metal item to see if the magnet sticks to the object. If the metal attracts the magnet, it must be an alloy mixture and not a precious metal.

The Skin Test: Genuine gold and silver will not react with the skin such as turning it green or irritating it. When you perspire, the metals in copper jewelry, for example, react with the acid in your sweat to form green salts. These acids are essentially causing the copper to corrode on the surface of the metal.

After following the above tips and you still find yourself unsure, get a second opinion. Our trusted and experienced jewelers here at The Gem Collection can allay any doubts you may have and answer any questions about your jewelry.

Written by Aurora Freeland

A proud alumni of FSU’s Retail Entrepreneur Program, Aurora is a VIP here at The Gem Collection. As our Inventory Manager, Aurora oversees our vast array of jewelry.  She has her finger on the heartbeat of customer trends and fashion