If you've just bought a piece of old jewellery or if you've inherited a family heirloom, you might be interested in establishing the genuineness of the jewellery. This is not always easy for laymen to do, as fake antique jewellery is fairly common and is often very skilfully duplicated to look like an original. However, there are a few signs you can look for to try to establish whether or not your piece of antique jewellery is real or just a reproduction.
You should examine the piece of jewellery for a mark from the maker. This was a common thing for antique jewellers to do, so you should be able to count on your antique piece of jewellery to have some sort of mark on it. It might just be a little symbol, but it's also common to find initials of the maker carved in somewhere on the piece of jewellery. If you have a piece of jewellery that is made by a famous jewellery maker, you should be able to find out what their specific mark used to be so you can try to identify it in your piece of jewellery. You could find this out by asking a dealer or even looking it up online. If the piece is much worn, it could be hard to find these specific marks, which is a situation where it can be useful to know exactly what to look for.
Weight and appearance
The weight of the piece should help you establish if it's a genuine piece or a replica. Ask your jeweller how much it weighs. Also, if it's scratched or dented, while lacking shine, this is a sign that the piece of jewellery has actually been used. Jewellery can be restored by the dealer, but as it might damage fragile metals, it's not a very common practice. But, if the piece of jewellery looks brand-new, you should ask the dealer if it has been restored. If it hasn't, then you might be dealing with a fake item.
If you've bought the piece of jewellery off a dealer, you should consider the price as an indication of its genuineness. If it's a legitimate jewellery company, then you should be able to trust them for authenticity, but if you've bought the piece online or from someone not associated with jewellery professionally, you should be cautious. You can find a picture of the piece jewel online or in books and compare it with your piece in question. Finding great deals on antique jewellery is possible. If you only had to pay a couple of dollars for your piece of jewellery, you should examine it carefully and possibly take it to a professional to establish whether it's real or not.