Investing in vintage jewellery is very popular. Not only is it absolutely beautiful and extremely unique, but it can also make people a lot of money over time. Yet, unfortunately there are many pieces of jewellery out there that are either fake or not as authentic as the seller makes out that they are. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to identify whether or not the jewellery you are wanting to purchase is authentic!
- Go To A Certified Jeweller
To give yourself the best chance of finding an authentic piece, especially if you are new to the world of vintage jewellery, you should go to a certified jeweller. Complete some research prior to purchase to find a certified jewellery expert who will not only be able to identify whether a piece of jewellery is real, but they are also more likely to offer you a fair price on it.
If you are spending a significant amount of money on a piece, for example a vintage engagement ring, it might be worth finding an independent jeweller to give a valuation to ensure you are not paying much more than you should be. These pieces should also probably come with paperwork to ensure their authenticity. Whilst not all jewellers will offer a fair price, going to a reputable jeweller will give you the best chance of finding an authentic piece.
- Look For Makers Marks
Another simple way to know whether a piece of vintage jewellery is authentic is to look for letter markings on the metal. These could either be small engravings that are only visible on the inside of a ring or the underside of a necklace, or they could be more detailed markings.
On gold metal, you should find a two digit number followed by the letter K, which refers to carats. For example, a marking that said 18K would suggest that this piece of jewellery is made with 18 karat gold. You might also see a marking of a three digit number such as 650, which would represent that the jewellery is made with metal that is 65% gold.
For silver, if you find marks such as 925, you would know the piece is sterling silver as it is 92.5% pure silver. You might also see things like “German Silver” which you should be wary of, as these are actually comprised of a few different cheaper metals.
Whilst these markings could be fake, you would usually be able to tell when it comes to vintage jewellery as the markings will be slightly worn in most cases.
- Complete A Few Simple Tests
Although these tests are simple, they can be an important indicator of whether or not your piece of vintage jewellery is authentic.
Firstly, to see whether a piece of jewellery is made with real gold or silver, hold up a strong magnet to the piece. If the jewellery sticks to the magnet, you know it is fake, as real silver and gold are not magnetic.
To test diamonds, breath onto the stone. If the diamond fogs up, it is fake, as real diamonds don’t retain heat.
If you are trying to identify whether a piece of your own jewellery is fake, simply wear it for a while. If you notice any kind of irritation or a slight green tint to your skin, this is a strong indication that the piece might be fake. However, some people are allergic to gold, so the green tint on your skin is a bigger giveaway.
If you are investing in a piece of vintage jewellery, make sure you use a certified jeweller, look for makers marks and also complete a few simple tests to ensure the piece is authentic!