How to Conduct the Best Jewelry Appraisals

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Here at Wm. S. Rich & Son, people bring us jewelry all the time. Sometimes they want to sell it outright, other times to use as collateral for a short-term loan. Either way, we need to conduct the best jewelry appraisal to determine authenticity and value. So you might wonder, how do we tell the difference between the real thing and a knock off?

Some items come to us in their original boxes, but others do not. Our products may be second hand, but there is no need to second guess the authenticity of our products. Like all jewelers, we have a set of evaluation tools. But there is also the intangible know-how that comes from handling precious metals and jewels for a long time.

“This is where our experience comes in,” said Mark DeSanctis, manager of the Wm. S. Rich & Son store on Stuyvesant Avenue in Union, New Jersey. “I’ve been working with gold and diamonds and fine watches for 30 years. Even before I test an item, I look at it and I feel it and I just know. Gold feels and sounds different from brass and steel. The finish, the polish, the plating, you can just tell.”

How to determine if an item is real gold:

  • Use a 10 power eye loupe to find a jeweler and/or manufacturer stamp, indicating authenticity and whether an item is 14K gold, 18K gold, 24K gold, platinum, etc.
  • Combine a scratch stone with various acid tests. Solid gold will release a clear liquid, other metals will release a milky or green liquid.
  • Put your jewelry in a glass of water. Genuine gold will sink to the bottom, other metals float.
  • Hold a magnet to the metal. Genuine gold will not attract a magnet.

Here at Wm. S. Rich & Son we employ gemologists who are certified by the Gemological Institute of America and recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of color, clarity, cut and carat and created the International Diamond Grading System and the Colored Stone Grading System. Our gemologists use magnification and heat conductivity tests, among others, to help determine authenticity.

Looking for a quick test to see if you have a real diamond?  Breathe on the gemstone. A real diamond will disperse the fog immediately, a fake diamond will stay foggy for a few seconds.

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