Fake gemstones have become more and more sophisticated over the years. There are some fake gemstones on the market today that could easily fool someone who doesn’t have the kind of experience that our jewelry buyers do. If you are thinking about selling your old jewelry, you’ll want to determine whether or not those gemstones, pearls, diamonds, and gold are real before contacting potential jewelry buyers. The real deal is going to be worth a whole lot more and knowing the value of the piece can help you negotiate when it comes to selling it.

Our jewelry buyers in La Jolla have been buying and selling jewelry for more than 30 years, and we can quickly evaluate your piece and tell you whether or not it’s made with the real thing. We’re always happy to take a look for you and let you know if your pearls, gemstones, diamonds, and gold are real or not. If they are and you wish to sell them, we’ll give you a great price in cash for your items. If they aren’t, at least you’ll have an idea of what they are worth!

If you aren’t ready to bring your items in, there are a few ways you can try to determine at home whether or not your jewelry is made from genuine diamonds and gemstones. Here are some of our suggestions.

Are the Gemstones, Gold, and Diamonds in Your Jewelry Real?

How to Tell If Gold is Real

Telling real gold from fake or plated gold can involve some complicated chemistry…or just a few items that you might have sitting around your house.

  • Put it against a magnet. Gold won’t react to a magnet, so if you hold a piece of jewelry to a magnet from your refrigerator and it sticks, then there it has almost certainly been made from a different kind of metal.
  • Slide it across a ceramic plate. If you have an old ceramic plate at home, you can place the piece of jewelry on the surface and then slide it across the plate. If the jewelry leaves a black mark, that’s not real gold. Real gold will leave a yellow or gold-colored mark behind. Be sure you aren’t using your best china for this test, though, as the mark could be permanent.

How to Tell If Gemstones Are Real

Gemstones are the trickiest item to determine the authenticity of without being a professional, but there are a few tell-tale signs you can look for at home.

  • Look at it under a magnifying glass. Fake gemstones are more likely to look cloudy in appearance. They might also have scratches on the surface of the stone, while an authentic stone will not.
  • Consider what it’s set in. Real stones are much more likely to be set in real gold with strong prongs to hold the stones in place. If the setting itself seems flimsy or fake, then there is a good chance the stones are, too.

How to Tell If Pearls Are Real

Pearls are typically quite easy to determine yourself whether or not they are real.

  • Rub them against your teeth. It might not seem like the most appealing (or hygienic) thing to do, but it it’s a good test! Real pearls will feel a little gritty on your teeth while fake ones will feel smooth. That’s the difference between being made by an oyster and being made in a lab.
  • Hold them up to the light. If you can see a white core in the middle of the pearl, then they’ve been created in a lab. That white core is how the process of creating the fake pearl is started.
  • Look at their shape. Real pearls are hardly ever perfectly shaped. They may have small imperfections in their shape due to the way they are made inside the oyster. Fake pearls are much more likely to be perfectly round.

How to Tell If Diamonds Are Real

Telling a real diamond from a fake one can be difficult with the naked eye, but these tests will give you a good idea if it’s the real deal or not.

  • Drop it into a glass of water. Diamonds are very dense. If you have a loose diamond, drop it into a glass of water. If it’s real, it’s going to sink to the bottom. If it’s fake, it will float at or near the top.
  • Heat it up. Take caution with this method; if your diamond isn’t real, it will destroy the fake stone, so only use this method if you don’t mind potentially ruining your piece. First, set out a glass of ice cold water. Then, heat the stone up with a lighter for 30-45 seconds, then drop it into the ice water. If the stone is a real diamond, nothing will happen. If it’s fake, though, the stone will shatter. That’s because diamonds are tough enough to withstand the drastic change in temperature while stones made from glass or plastic are not.

A Word of Caution About Markings

A lot of online guides will tell you that one way to determine the authenticity of your jewelry is to look for hallmarks and markings on the settings. These signs can indicate who made the piece, where it was made, and what it was made with. But it’s important to remember that anyone can stamp a piece of gold. Fraudsters trying to pass off jewelry as real may stamp it in order to trick a buyer into thinking it’s worth more than it actually is. Additionally, you need to know what you are reading. A stamp of 18K is a great thing, but if it’s followed by GP or other letters, it’s probably not solid gold and is instead gold-plated, meaning it has less value. So while checking hallmarks and stamps can be an indication of the value, it’s certainly not a guarantee.

Need Your Jewelry Checked?

The team of jewelry buyers at H. Moradi in La Jolla can help. It can be very difficult to determine the authenticity of your jewelry, even following the tips listed above. That’s why it may be best to simply bring your items into our store. We can help you determine what’s real and what’s not. If you decide that you’d like to sell your items, you’ll give you a fair cash offer right there on the spot. Visit our team on Prospect Street in La Jolla Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Or, you can give us a call or send us a message through our website. We’ll get back to you right away to answer your questions and help with all of your jewelry needs.