Some costume jewelry is so well designed it makes it difficult to tell the difference between a fake and the real thing.

Often times over the course of our lives we come across random pieces of jewelry. Some may be gifts, some may be inherited, and others may come as treasured finds.

Here are some tips on what to look for.

#1. The Hallmarking – there should be a numerical code on the piece signifying the amount of gold in the item. It will be a three digit code. For example, if you read 925, to translate that you add a decimal after the second number to get 92.5. That means this piece is 92.5% pure.


The typical number markings you will find will be:

Gold: 375, 500, 583, 750, 916, 958, 999

Silver: 800, 830, 875, 925, 960, 999

Platinum: 850, 900, 950, 999

#2. Try using a magnet on the piece – precious metals are non magnetic and that is a sure give away.

#3. Check for repairs and damage – Platinum and silver look very similar. It’s too easy for criminals to exchange pieces for lesser metal. Silver had a blackish hue and more flexibility than platinum. 

#4. Traces – if you rub gold on a ceramic tile it will leave a mark. Fakes are usually grey or black instead of a golden color.

#5. Chalk – With silver if you rub chalk on it and it begins to darken, it is real silver. 

#6. Iodine – Iodine will not stain real gold. 

#7. Vinegar Test – Fake or low content gold will darken in vinegar very quickly.

#8. Ammonia – works to test for platinum. Ammonia makes most metal blacken. This will not happen on platinum.

At First Pawn we verify every piece that comes through our doors before we buy. That way we pass on only the best grades of jewelry on to our customers. These are great tips for testing your pieces at home before trying to sell them only to be disappointed to find out you may have nothing but a pretty costume piece on your hands.

We love jewelry, gold, platinum, silver, bronze, rose gold, and all precious and semi-precious stones… bring us yours or check out our selection! We look forward to seeing you!

We now have two locations right here in Southwest Florida – Lehigh Acres and Naples.

Visit our showrooms today for spectacular bargains. www.firstpawn.com. 

First Pawn Jewelry & Loan 

889 Airport Road South, Naples, Fl 34104 | 239-434-7296

1331 Homestead Rd N, Lehigh Acres, FL 33936 | 239-369-2274

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