The last thing you’ll ever want to do is buy fake jewelry for someone you love or care for. That’s why it’s important to check and make sure that each piece of jewelry you buy is authentic, even in places where it might be hard to tell. The following are some tips for distinguishing fake jewelry from real jewelry when you buy it at a thrift store.

Look for Visual Signs

It’s fairly easy to tell fake jewelry that has been sitting for a long time. Fake jewelry will tend to change colors as it oxidizes. Don’t purchase anything that has a strange color if you intend to buy real jewelry. Go ahead and look at something else that might be more authentic. It probably isn’t the thrift shop’s intention to deceive you, but sometimes they get ahold of non-authentic items.

Look for Hallmarks

One of the best tips for buying silver is to look for the hallmarks. Hallmarks are markings that you’ll find on most authentic silver jewelry to signify the purity of the metal. You might see a stamp with a number such as 900, 925, or 900 if the silver comes from an international destination. With gold, you’ll want to look for something on the piece that specifies the number of karats it has. You might see 10K, 14K, or something else. You’ll also know if the item is gold plated because it will usually say so in small print. Take as much time as you need to search for these necessary indications.

Try the Magnet Test

Another thing you can do to ensure that any jewelry you buy is real is to try the magnet test. The magnet test is one that will allow you to see if a particular piece is real. Most precious metals are non-magnetic. That means that you are most likely dealing with something less-than-authentic if it grabs onto a magnet you put close to it. You should think twice about purchasing any such piece of jewelry if that happens. It most likely has a core that isn’t silver.

Do a Little Scratch and Sniff

This might sound a little peculiar, but you can smell a piece of jewelry if you want to know whether it’s silver all the way through. Silver does not have a smell to it. Therefore, your piece is most likely plated or entirely fake if you put it up to your nose and smell something like sulfur coming through. You should only do this test if your sense of smell is well developed. Otherwise, you might miss out on detecting something that is not what you intend to buy.

Blow on It

It’s hard to believe that a simple breath test can reveal a fake diamond jewelry item, but it can. You can conduct the breath test if you’re trying to get a quick answer about whether an item is crafted of real diamonds. All you need to do to perform the breath test is to blow some of your breath on the stone. A real diamond will not retain the heat from your breath and create a layer of fog on it. However, a fake diamond will get foggy right away. Try this test and see how it works out for you.

Look for Flakes

The flake inspection is the way you can tell if an item you’re getting ready to buy is a plated piece of jewelry. Inspect it closely to see if you can spot any areas where the silver has flaked off to reveal metal of a different color. This means that the item you’re about to purchase is plated, and it is not real silver underneath. Respond to that information accordingly to make a smart shopping decision.

Choose Your Jewelry Confidently Right Now

Now you know what you need to do to ensure that you choose genuine jewelry when you shop at thrift stores. You can rest assured that the jewelry you pick will be right on point if you use the strategies mentioned above. Don’t ever rush to purchase a piece at a thrift shop. Make sure you slow down and get the right gift for someone you adore.

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