How to identify fake jewellery

At Laurelle Limited were the antique jewellery experts. We stock jewellery from a range of eras, from Edwardian and Victorian to Art Nouveau, and we feel its only right to share our wealth of knowledge and expertise with our customers, helping you to choose the best antique jewellery. There are a lot of fake pieces on the market these days so its important to understand how to identify them to avoid being ripped off.

Diamonds

If youre looking to buy a diamond you should bear in mind the four Cs Colour, Cut, Carat, and Clarity. Start by checking the setting of the diamond; theyre expensive stones so youd expect the craftsmanship of the piece of jewellery to be very high. Diamonds set into poor quality pieces are likely to be fakes. Cheaper stones, like cubic zirconia, sparkle with an array of colours, while diamonds give off a white and grey shine. The final test is to breathe on the diamond. If the mist from your breath disappears instantly then the diamond is real; if it lingers for a few seconds, its usually a fake.

Pearls

Real pearls are heavier than fake ones, so the first test is to take them in your hand to feel their weight. Next, check how they are strung together; real ones are usually strung on a safety chain and knotted between each pearl. Finally, hold the pearls under a bright light; each real pearl will vary in colour, iridescence and shape. If each pearl on the chain is the same shape, its likely that they are fake. If you still have doubts, rub the pearl gently across your teeth; real pearls feel slightly gritty.

Bakelite

Bakelite jewellery was popular during the 1920s, during the Art Deco movement. The remake of the film The Great Gatsby in 2013 sparked resurgence in the popularity of the 1920s style. However, those looking for authentic Bakelite jewellery could find themselves presented with Fakelite plastic jewellery instead, if you dont know what youre looking for.

Fakelite is mass produced, with the intention of looking like Bakelite so it can be difficult to spot to the untrained eye. Real Bakelite is almost 100 years old so it will have obvious signs of wear and tear now; if it looks brand new then it is usually a fake. Rub the piece briskly with your thumb; if it is real Bakelite it will give off a camphor-like odour.