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How to spot counterfeit gold jewellery

Gold is one of the most counterfeited types of jewellery. The amount of fake gold present on the market increases alongside the value of gold and as our last blog discussed, this is rising dramatically at the moment. For those who are not experienced jewellers, it can often be hard to tell real gold from counterfeit gold, especially if you don’t have the tools to test it on the spot.

 

However, there are some key areas to consider when shopping for gold jewellery. As a consumer, it is important to know what to look out for to ensure you’re getting the real deal. We’ve listed some of our tips below to help make sure your investment is worth it.

Price

Firstly, consider the price of the item. Gold is a valuable metal and is expensive to purchase – that won’t change. If you are looking to purchase a piece of gold jewellery that is priced unusually low, it is almost certain that it is too good to be true.

It is important to note that gold-plated jewellery is still gold. Although it is cheaper, gold-plated jewellery is never extremely cheap. Be wary of any signs in the pricing of “gold” items, and question the pricing where necessary.

Hallmark

As well as price, it is important to look for a hallmark, or stamp, on the jewellery. The stamp is there to indicate the carat weight of the gold used and the name of the manufacturer. It will often appear on the back or base of the piece of jewellery. It can be recognised as an official mark or series of marks struck on gold, as well as silver and platinum.

Although some counterfeit gold pieces may have a stamp, these stamps usually read wrong information such as inexistent carat weights or won’t have a manufacturer’s name. Read closely and pay attention to the detail to ensure you are investing in a genuine gold piece.

Weight

Gold has a density that is one of the highest amongst all the metals. Density is calculated by the weight of a certain volume. This means that gold is quite heavy, and if you hold a piece of gold jewellery you should be able to get an indication of its worth by feeling how heavy it is.

 

However, this can be tricky with smaller pieces like earrings, as they don’t have much weight in the first place, regardless of the metal they are made of. Counterfeiters are also becoming a lot savvier at replicating their offerings to become striking resemblances to genuine pieces, making it difficult for consumers to decipher between real and fake. It’s important to use your instincts in these cases – if it seems a bit off, it probably is.

Colour

You don’t need an expert eye to spot the colour of an off “gold” piece of jewellery. Fake gold pieces tend to be either too yellow or fading. By trying to make it look as much like gold as possible, counterfeit gold almost looks “too gold”. Look out for those pieces that are incredibly shiny or far too yellow.

 

If not too yellow, fake gold is usually not yellow enough. The plating may fade or show signs of discolouration. Even real gold-plated jewellery will not fade (unless it is poorly made, but this does not make it fake), as the top layer is coated enough to be as resistant as a fully gold piece.

Seek expert advice

Lastly, nothing is more trustworthy and reliable than a gold expert. Our tips above are good indicators you can easily refer to, but seeking the advice of an expert is the only way that guarantees you an accurate evaluation.

 

Our experienced jewellers can help you with any doubt you might have on gold jewellery. Pop in to one of our stores in Glasgow or Aberdeen and we will be more than happy to assist you and answer any of your questions, whilst helping you discover our beautiful range of genuine gold jewellery.