In our first article on how to identify fake luxury gift assets, we dealt with how to spot fake luxury watches in San Diego. In today’s second article, we will discuss how to identify fake Tiffany jewelry in San Diego County.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Tiffany & Co. jewelry should feel truly flattered—their jewelry is some of the most counterfeited in the industry and many such items can be found circulating around Southern California. Cheap jewelry stamped with “T & Co.” regularly appears at San Diego estate auctions, antique dealers, and many internet jewelry sites. In fact, the practice is so prevalent that there is even a website devoted exclusively to exposing sellers of Tiffany fakes.
So, to protect your cash investment, use the following tips avoid buying a fake piece of Tiffany & Co. jewelry in San Diego, CA.
Know the San Diego Tiffany Jewelry Seller
If you are purchasing your Tiffany & Co. jewelry from a San Diego estate jewelry store or San Diego pawn shop, see what written guarantees they offer should the item turn out to be a fake. Also, bear in mind that there are some San Diego County businesses who claim to be ‘official’ dealers but offer discounts and bargains like ‘discontinued’ pieces or ‘wholesale’ pricing. These sellers are not San Diego Tiffany dealers: official Tiffany boutiques and re-sellers never discount their jewelry.
If you are willing to try a website like eBay, be sure to do your homework. Investigate the seller, and compare pictures of their sale items with the Tiffany website. When in doubt, simply don’t buy—if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Even when the seller seems to be authentic, there are some fairly easy ways to detect all but the very best fakes.
“Tiffany” Jewelry With Soldered Joints and Links
Tiffany jewelry is renowned for its perfection, and one way fakes can be easily detected is by careless or sloppy soldering. Joints should be perfect, and on any Tiffany chain, whether a necklace or bracelet, the individual links should be perfectly soldered and continuous. The links will never be simply pinched together in an authentic piece. If you can see a line where the link was fused, it is probably a fake.
Tiffany Hallmarks and Other Stamps
Simply stated, any mark, logo, or stamp on an authentic Tiffany piece will be perfect. Not only will the edges of the mark be perfectly crisp and clean (except if the piece is quite old and subjected to wear), it will be stamped or engraved into a uniform metal, and will not show any color. Fakes made from plated brass will often show a telltale sign of brass where the piece was engraved. The edges of marks on fake pieces are often blurred, slightly askew, or even off center. A piece with any of these features is certainly counterfeit.
For newer pieces that feature the full “Tiffany & Co.” stamp, the “T” and “C” are almost always larger, though this isn’t always true of vintage pieces. If the piece features all uniform letters, you should probably investigate the piece (or the San Diego seller) further.
Silver Content in Tiffany Jewelry
Authentic Tiffany jewelry always has a purity mark that indicates the purity of the metal used. Sterling silver pieces will feature either “925” or “Sterling,” indicating that the silver content is 92.5%. Silver at this purity is fairly heavy, and will feel substantial in your hand. A bit of time at a reliable San Diego jeweler can help you learn to gauge what a Sterling silver piece ought to feel like.
While you can always use a test kit to verify the silver content, you can also inspect the piece carefully, especially around joints and engravings, as sometimes the base metal can show through. Since magnets will not indicate that a piece is plated brass, magnets are rarely a good test for silver.
To avoid the concerns about buying fake Tiffany jewelry in San Diego, visit Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers in La Jolla, CA. They both purchase and sell previously-owned Tiffany bracelets, necklaces, rings, and pendants.
Visit them online at: DiamondEstate.com