Jewellery’s monetary value is all over the place. Things we consider to be precious can be worth pennies on the dollar, while others, such as a simple chain, might be worth hundreds. Assume you’ve ever found a piece of jewelry on the ground or discovered a stunning stone at a garage sale. In such case, you’re probably familiar with the thrill of not knowing whether or not your gleaming gem is worth anything. Before you hand over the cash and bring your buried treasure to a jewelry appraiser, there are a few things you should look for.
The sort of metal being used is the first item to consider. There are certain producers who, in order to make the maximum money, choose the cheapest procedure available. The usage of plated metal is one of these methods. This indicates that only the exterior of a piece of jewelry is plated with genuine metal. The inside, on the other hand, is frequently made of low-grade metal that does not deserve to see the light of day. If the plated metal peels away, you’ll be left with a piece of junk metal that will be in continual touch with your flesh. You’re better than that, though; check out Temple&Grace’s high-quality jewelry collection.
How to Determine Whether or Not Your Jewelry Is Valuable
Is this a reputable vendor?
When purchasing on online auction sites like eBay or Shpock, or browsing secondhand things on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace, always be cautious. While there are some fantastic bargains to be acquired, these sites are not monitored, which means that anybody may sign up and sell. Examine the seller’s reputation and feedback. Most of these sites allow for reviews, so do your homework and check whether others have had positive or negative experiences with them. Also, check the listing to see if the item is new. Is there a photograph? Is the vendor utilizing stock photos or images of the item you’re purchasing? Be cautious of unmoderated sales sites because they are ideal breeding grounds for fakes. Even better, buy from a reputable jeweller to guarantee that the products you’re buying are real.
Shopping for vintage jewelry from any old source, whether online or at the mall, is a sure way to wind up with rubbish and overpay for something that isn’t vintage at all. That is why it is critical to investigate the most trusted vintage jewelry vendors and then shop exclusively from them. Vintage rings from Berganza are a fantastic example; you’ll find odd and gorgeous styles, as well as information such as the year the items were made. Knowing that a ring was manufactured around 1900, for example, will prove that it is vintage, but not all dealers will provide this information.
Examine the logo
Especially if it’s a high-end brand, branded things often come with a signature. Check for this to guarantee that the item you’re buying is from the designer who claims to have created it. Many phony jewelry merchants have realized this and are now making jewelry with forged hallmarks. While these may appear to be genuine at first glance, a closer examination often reveals subtle flaws. Examine typefaces, layouts, and spellings to check that the hallmark on your jewelry is identical to the designer’s.
Make sure the quality is good
If an item isn’t authentic, there are usually immediate clues in terms of quality. Examine your jewelry carefully to check that the construction is sound. Check the links on a bracelet or necklace; they should never look pressed together, but rather smooth and solid. Check the setting and mounting of a stone if you have a piece of jewelry with one, such as a ring. Costume jewelry can be mistaken for genuine, but closer inspection reveals that the stones are frequently glued in place rather than correctly placed. These are all apparently obvious things, yet they’re easy to overlook at first glance or in a photo on the internet.
Examine the stones
While poor-quality jewelry is typically obvious, a gemstone that is too perfect can be a telltale sign of a fake. Real gemstones aren’t perfect, and naturally occurring flecks can be seen within them. Diamonds are similar in that they are naturally created, and when examined under a magnifying glass, the natural flaws can typically be seen. Replicas of valuable gemstones and diamonds are frequently made from a combination of glass and plastic and have an extremely smooth appearance that can be detected.
Did you get your certification and paperwork?
If you’re buying a diamond-encrusted item, it should come with a certificate proving its authenticity. This could come from the GIA, IGI, or EGL. If your jewelry does not come with a certificate, make a request for one. Check any extra documentation that comes with your jewelry, such as the manufacturer’s information, cleaning instructions, or care suggestions. Pay attention to the printing quality as well as the grammar and wording — low-quality documents are a dead giveaway of fraudulent items.
Examine a piece of jewelry’s design.
The style of a piece of jewelry can provide you a lot of information about whether it is vintage or not. This is due to the fact that, like other forms of fashion, jewelry has been able to reflect the styles of many eras across time. For example, white is a common metal color in jewelry manufactured between 1910 and 1930, therefore the items should be set in silver, white gold, platinum, or at the very least a metal that looks like silver. Despite its popularity, gold was in scarce supply during WWII, thus it was frequently combined with silver for jewelry. When you’re out shopping for jewelry, keep these facts in mind to ensure that you’re getting genuine vintage pieces.
Look for identifiers
When you get a new piece of jewelry, one of the first things you should do is look for hallmarks. The metal content of a piece will usually be revealed by one hallmark, while the other (if there is one) will reveal the country of origin, designer, or maker. These markings are commonly found on a necklace’s clasp, within a ring or bracelet, or on an earring’s post. All fine jewelry should have a hallmark unless it is over 100 years old or the hallmark has worn off.
18K, 14K, 10K, 750, 585, and 375 are all common gold hallmarks. 950, PLATINUM, and PLAT are common platinum hallmarks. 925, Silver, 800, and Sterling are common silver hallmarks. There are numerous different trademarks, but the presence of a hallmark on your jewelry is usually a good sign.
Get your item appraised if it appears to be antique but lacks a hallmark. If your piece appears to be new but lacks any hallmarks, it is most likely costume jewelry. Check the item’s weight.
When evaluating chains and bangles, this is very crucial. Gold and silver are generally heavier metals than their imitated counterparts, such as brass and pewter. If you come across a thicker gold chain that feels significantly lighter than a similar gold necklace you already own, it’s most likely false or hollow gold.
Phony chains have a fake feel to them. Solid gold jewelry is extremely smooth, hefty, and consistent. For example, if you have a gold-colored chain with a darker color or even a silvery color showing through on portions that receive a lot of wear, it’s probably a gold plated chain that isn’t worth much. When solid gold or platinum jewelry wears down, the part that shows through should be the same color as the rest of the piece. In the case of white gold, however, this is not the case.
Tip: When assessing the worth of your gold or platinum jewelry, the longer and heavier it is, the more precious it is.
Examine the prongs
Prongs are used in certain higher-end costume jewelry, just as they are in fine jewelry, but many of the stones are glued in place. If a cameo brooch appears to be pasted into the setting with no prongs holding it in place, it is most likely costume jewelry and not valuable. With the exception of pearls, fine jewelry will be well-crafted, with each stone set in an elaborate bezel or prong setting.
Vintage costume jewelry with numerous brilliant stones set with prongs can be extremely costly. These items can be as valuable as exquisite jewelry in some cases. It’s critical to ensure that the piece is old, in good condition, and has a large number of beautifully colored, clean stones set with prongs.
There’s no filler here. Thank you in any case
The usage of fillers is another symptom of low-quality body jewelry. A true metal that has been combined with another metal in order to save weight is not excellent. Some businesses do this to reduce money on production, but it also raises the danger of infection. Nickel is the most frequent low-grade metal filler, and it is known to irritate the skin, and many people are allergic to it. Not at all secure. It should be avoided at all costs.
Threading of the highest quality Another issue that should not be overlooked is only threading. Although you might not see it when looking at a piece, there is a significant difference between external and interior threading. How do you tell the difference now? Determine what will be pushed through the skin when inspecting a piece. This is really risky if that component has to thread on it. When putting anything on or off, a sharp object being pushed into your skin repeatedly has the potential to cut your skin and cause infection. A body jewelry piece’s post should always be spherical and smooth, as this is safer and more secure.
High-quality jewelry should always be sanitized before use to ensure that it is safe to wear. High-pressure steam at high temperatures is the ideal way to do this, as it is more than enough to destroy germs and bacteria that can readily accumulate. Boiling, for example, is a definite means of attracting germs to proliferate on the piece.
A Mirrored Surface
A high-quality piece of body jewelry will have a mirror finish. It will not only look lovely, but it will also be really gentle on your skin. Any roughness or flaws in your skin might irritate it over time, producing irritation, desensitization, and other problems. If your piercing is still healing, this is especially crucial because it might prolong the healing process and develop extra scar tissue. As a result, make sure your work shines brightly like a diamond! Otherwise, you’ll come to regret it sooner or later.
Always lasts a long time
The more money you invest, the more likely your piece is to last. Cheaper materials or a lack of attention to detail in the creation of a piece might result in jewelry that breaks apart in a short period of time. So look for only pure metals (gold is the best), only high-quality gemstones, avoid plated or nickel-filled jewelry, and stay away from plastic altogether. When checking an item, make sure it is flawless both inside and out. Sharp edges, cracks, pits, and poor finishes should all be avoided. Send the item back to be repaired or replaced if there are any. Your safety should be a top priority at all times.
It’s not always easy to spot these indications in real life. The most efficient method is to contact the company you wish to purchase from and inquire about their body jewelry. It’s a good idea to ask these key questions to see if the products they create are high-quality and safe to wear. You can also inquire at your local piercing studio about the brand’s reputation. Last but not least, cost is a significant predictor of quality. For a huge number of consumers, cheap body jewelry is really appealing, but it is not necessarily appealing to the most knowledgeable clients.
Gold and silver products are branded with well-known markings that indicate the quality of the metal inside.
The 925 mark on silver, for example, indicates that it is 92.5 percent pure. Today, this is the most prevalent American mark found on silver jewelry. The words “Sterling,” “Ster,” or “STG” are commonly found on vintage objects.
Even if an item appears to be silver but does not have a mark, it is not!
Unfortunately, unethical people buy low-cost metal products that resemble silver and then stamp them with a jeweler’s stamp. These are available for purchase on eBay or in jeweler supply stores.
The only way to tell if a piece is genuine is to acid test it unless you have a really good eye for silver. Later, I’ll go into this strategy in further depth.
Fake Pieces of Jewelry Can Be Very Cleverly Constructed to Look Precisely Like the Real Thing Fake pieces of jewelry can be very cleverly made to look exactly like the real thing.
I have a heavy gold plated ring with a huge Zircon in the center that I bought at a garage sale for 40 cents. It would be simple to price it and sell it for hundreds of dollars. When you’re out shopping, keep this in mind.
The only way to tell if an object sold as gold is genuine is to have a good eye for what gold looks like or to test it, just like with silver.
Carrying a strong, tiny magnet and holding it near the piece is one of the simplest ways to do this. Gold (and silver) have no magnetic properties. However, if an object is excessively plated, this test will not function since the plating prevents actual detection of the underlying metal.
Scammers can easily stamp an object unlawfully, just as they do with silver. Although a ring may state that it is 14k gold, this is not always the case.
The only genuine method to tell if something is a fake is to acid test it.
Remember, vintage jewelry is anything created or manufactured prior to 1989. Anything created after 1989 is considered secondhand jewelry. If a piece of jewelry is well-crafted, it should remain functional regardless of its age. As a result, inspect the piece to ensure that it is well-made, that the clasps are functional, and that the chain is free of kinks or bends that could cause it to break. If the piece contains any jewels, they should be placed firmly in place and be smooth and clear. As an example, clear or white stones should never appear hazy, yellow, or grey. Finally, the piece’s plating should be unbroken.
When searching for vintage jewelry, be cautious because there is a lot of fake jewelry out there that merchants are attempting to pass off as genuine. Do your homework on what vintage jewelry looks like, and only buy from reliable suppliers who can tell you the year the piece was made.