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9 Jewelers’ Secrets That No One Is Supposed to Know

When buying jewelry, we rarely think about the fact that we might be purchasing a fake. After all, we buy jewelry at stores where sales assistants explain everything, showing the goods from the winning side. But sometimes even the consultants don’t know what they’re actually selling. Jewelry requires close attention from the buyer, and it’s important to know at least some basic things about gemstones and precious metals. Otherwise, there’s a chance you’ll get stuck with a fake.

At Bright Side, we decided to find out how to avoid deceit in jewelry stores without an expert’s help.

Gold is denser than most other metals. If a piece seems too light for its size, it’s most likely fake.

“It seems like an ordinary wedding ring, but there is one small detail. It feels a couple of times lighter than it should be. Using a slightly destructive method with a saw frame, we can open it and see that it’s empty inside.”

“It’s not that bad. But taking into account the fact that wedding rings are usually worn for a long time, this is a very serious flaw that can’t be corrected. Rings that are made like this are very easily deformed. They can’t be enlarged or reduced. But these pieces are very popular because they are cheap.” © kssenomorff / Pikabu

If you’re looking for a gemstone of a certain color, you’ll be given the most expensive options.

As with any other business, sales assistants want to convince the buyer to spend as much money as possible. For example, they offer the most expensive options and don’t mention budget-friendly alternatives. If you want to buy a piece with a blue stone, then a sales assistant will most likely present options with very expensive sapphires.

The royals have always preferred the color blue, which is why the sapphire has become an elite gemstone, oftentimes bearing the name, “royal blue.” And that’s why pieces of jewelry with it are more expensive. When going to the store, you need to understand that not only sapphires are blue, but also spinel, tanzanite, and tourmaline, which are much cheaper.

0000276/Reporter/East News, AFP/East News

If you can’t check a certain piece of jewelry, an unpleasant find may await you.

“You can break this pendant with a hammer. As a result, you get pieces of clay with crystals glued to it. It’s okay, of course, but these pieces cost as much as pure gold, meaning that you end up buying clay for the price of gold.© kssenomorff / Pikabu

Don’t trust a sales assistant if they ask you to look at the diamond in the sunlight.

This is the oldest trick in the book. Lighting in jewelry stores and sunlight always play in favor of jewelry. Thanks to them, any piece looks the best, so even a bad stone will shine. In order for a diamond to sparkle in the sun, it’s enough to clean it. Therefore, you shouldn’t trust a jeweler who suggests going to the window or outside to see “what the stone really looks like.”

When choosing pearls, keep in mind that they shouldn’t be perfectly round.

Round pearls are considered the most valuable and are not often found in jewelry stores. It’s quite easy to check if a pearl is real: just rub it against another pearl. Imitation pearls slide against each other, while cultured pearls are rougher due to layers of mother-of-pearl. You can also pay attention to the holes. In real pearls, they are very small, while in imitation ones, they’re large.

When choosing pearl-adorned jewelry, temperature plays an important role. Real pearls are cold to the touch and become warm from body heat after a couple of seconds. Fake plastic pearls are at room temperature and won’t be cool to the touch. However, fake pearls can also be made from glass, which can be cold to the touch. But these pearls take longer to absorb body heat.

If a sales assistant says that real amber doesn’t smell, don’t trust them.

You can check whether the amber is real right in the store just by smelling it. Natural amber has a specific smell. After heating, real Baltic amber diffuses the smell of burning resin. Fake amber often smells like burnt plastic.

You can also check to see if the amber is real at home. All you need to do is add 1/4 cup of salt to 2 cups of warm water and stir until the salt dissolves. Then you need to put the amber into the solution. If the jewelry floats, then this product is real. But you should take into account other materials as well. For example, if the earrings have a metal clasp, then it will pull the piece down, but the amber will float.

When real gold comes in direct contact with your skin, it won’t discolor it.

You really only need to hold a gold piece in your hands for a couple of minutes. Hand sweat will either react with the metal and discolor the skin, or it won’t. If it’s fake, the skin will turn black, blue, or green. However, you should not let the piece touch any area of the skin that has makeup on it because gold will stain this area black.

Ask to examine the diamond, and fog it up with your breath.

If the diamond remains fogged up for a few seconds, it’s a fake. A real diamond doesn’t respond to warm breath because condensation doesn’t stick to the surface.

Diamonds can also be tested with water. It’s enough to put a stone into it and see how it behaves. A diamond has a high density, so if it drowns, you’ll know you have a real gemstone in front of you; and if it floats up, it’s a fake.

Fake silver won’t melt the ice, unlike real silver.

You need to take 2 pieces of ice. Put one of them in a metal dish, and the other one on a silver piece. If the ice on the jewelry melts faster, then you have real silver. If both pieces are melting at the same rate, then this is a fake.

Just like with amber, you can check whether silver is real simply by smelling it. Real silver has no specific smell. Jewelry that smells like a rotten egg is not silver. Such a piece can be silver-plated or made of copper or zinc.

Bonus: Advice from an owner

  • They usually put the nicest piece on display. So, always take the display one. Or else, you may get the “lesser” version. ©AppendixG / Reddit

Do you have certain tricks you use when shopping for jewelry? Tell us about them in the comments below.

Please note: This article was updated in July 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Preview photo credit moritz320 / Pixabay
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