How To Spot Fake Tiffany Jewellery
“I’m crazy about Tiffany’s!” Audrey Hepburn declared in the classic movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, “Nothing very bad could ever happen to you there!” And although that’s still true of the jeweller’s Fifth Avenue flagship and its many branches worldwide, a sense of security definitely does not apply to the secondary market. There, the buyer should beware.
Cashing in on the cachet of those little blue boxes and the distinctive designs inside them, counterfeiters have been flooding the market—making fakes harder and harder to detect. As forgers up their game, you’ll even come across phony pieces made with real gemstones set in precious metals and sold in authentic packaging. So, before you buy, learn how to spot fake Tiffany jewellery.
How To Spot Fake Tiffany Jewellery?
1. Where Are You Buying It?
At a traditional auction house, on-staff authenticators have checked a piece’s history and provenance. At online auction sites, that may not apply. Most, like eBay, are simply platforms that are only as trustworthy as the people who use them.
The problem: With a Tiffany engagement ring going for twice the price of less prestigious brands, online scammers are posting fakes faster than auction sites can take down the listings. Be on the lookout for blurry photographs and multiple listings of the same piece, both common counterfeiting ploys. Don’t be fooled by the authentic packaging either: counterfeiters scoop up those Tiffany’s blue boxes at jumble sales or online auctions then put unbranded jewellery inside.
Less often, you’ll come across a charlatan audacious enough to claim his wares were purchased as a “second” from Tiffany’s outlet store. The problem with that: there is no Tiffany outlet. Never has been. Never will be.
So, whether you’re shopping for a simple silver bracelet or an extravagant pair of diamond earrings, buying a pre-owned piece from luxury jewellery experts is your best way to buy real Tiffany piece at the best possible price. Trusted resource myGemma offers a wide array of pre-owned and expertly authenticated Tiffany rings, bracelets, necklaces, and wedding jewellery at a fraction of retail prices.
2. What Are You Buying?
Counterfeiters are after a quick sale, so they won’t waste time with labor-intensive Schlumberger designs or obscure vintage pieces, preferring to focus on heavily advertised bestsellers with recognizable shapes that are fast and easy to fake. Their favorites: silver pieces, like the Heart Tag Key Ring or Heart Tag Charm Bracelet from the Return to Tiffany Collection, Elsa Peretti’s Open Heart Pendant or Open Heart Bangle, pendants from the Tiffany Keys Collection, or almost anything silver in the Atlas Collection.
Second most likely to be counterfeited: Gemstones in classic Tiffany mounts, like diamond solitaires in Tiffany’s famous six-prong setting. In many cases, you’ll find a counterfeiter who’s actually selling you an authentic Tiffany ring in an authentic Tiffany box minus the authentic gemstone. Scammers pry out the ring’s original, high-quality diamond, sell it, then substitute a low-grade stone, man-made diamond, or cubic zirconia.
3. How Does It Look Next To The Real Thing?
Even if they’re not jewellery experts, most people can spot fakes when they see them in a side-by-side comparison with the genuine articles. If you’re not lucky enough to have a stash of Tiffany pieces handy, take advantage of the store’s website, where you’ll find lots of detailed, high-resolution images.
Be aware that Tiffany sells in standardized sizes, so the piece you’re holding should match the measurements on its site. What else to watch out for: engraving that is off center, smudgy looking, or shallow and hastily done.
There’s also the old trick—seen less often lately—of using deliberate misspellings to get around trademark laws. Therefore, if a piece is marked “Tifany” or “Tiffanie,” that’s who made it. Not the jewellery store on Fifth Avenue.
4. How Does It Feel?
Tiffany jewellery feels expensive. Its silver bracelets are heavy. Its stones are securely set. Its enamel has a glossy, even finish that is smooth to the touch.
Known for meticulous quality control, Tiffany sells only chains or bracelets that are cleanly finished—no snags, no sharp edges—with clasps that close securely. Soldering (the joining on metal pieces) is buffed to invisibility. Ergo, pieces with sloppy stamping and soldering are fake.
5. What’s It Made Of?
You can also spot fake Tiffany jewellery by checking the metal or stone. For example: Aside from a few non-jewellery pieces made decades ago, Tiffany has never used silver-plating. So if you see base metal showing through, the piece is counterfeit—usually silver electroplated over brass.
Likewise, Tiffany has never used faux pearls. Diamonds with visible flaws, bad clarity, or bad color are also giveaways that the piece is not from a Fifth Avenue jeweller that built its reputation on quality control. Beginning in 2004, Tiffany began laser-engraving serial numbers on its diamonds, which can be easily seen with a jeweler’s loupe.
How To Afford Authentic Tiffany Jewellery
Now that you know how to spot fake Tiffany jewellery, you may be ready for the real thing. That’s where we come in: As specialist online diamond, jewellery, and luxury watch buyers, WP Diamonds makes affording authentic luxury jewellery easy. Sell your luxury jewellery and watches for cash or store credit, with a 10 percent increase when you opt for store credit.
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Where To Buy Affordable Tiffany Jewellery
Paloma Picasso? Elsa Peretti? Schlumberger? The Atlas Collection? You’ll find all of those—and more—on our sister site, myGemma, as well as other authenticated, pre-owned Tiffany pieces in a selection that ranges from silver tag bracelets to platinum jewellery set with fine diamonds.