Often people want to know how to validate an item’s authenticity. We recommend that if possible, you bring it to us and we will gladly assist you using our experience and state of the art equipment. However, here are a few helpful hints that you can do yourself, although be aware that these are old school authentication processes and are not absolute.
• Gold is not magnetic and it is odorless.
• If possible, suspend your item is the air (IE hold a chain by one end or a string tied to a ring) until it is not moving, then pass a magnet back and fourth by it without touching it. If the item begins to sway toward the magnet, it is not gold.
• Rub the piece hard between your fingers and then smell the item. If it is not gold you will usually be able to detect the scent of the base metal.
• Check the areas that come in contact with skin and look for fading or darkening.
• NOTE: Very heavy gold plating can negate the results noted. So, if after trying the above, you are still unsure, bring it to us and we will gladly test it for you.
• Gently rub two pearls together, it should feel fairly rough. If they slide very easily or smooth, then they are most likely imitations or cultured.
• If the pearl is mounted, you can clean it then rub it on your teeth (believe it or not). The same roughness should be felt, if it is smooth it is not real.
• Natural pearls are very expensive. Examine a strand of pearls around the hole where the string passes through; imitation and cultured pearls will often have chipping around the edge of the hole exposing the manmade material underneath.
• NOTE: Cultured pearls are manmade material that is intentionally planted in an oyster so a very thin veneer of natural concretion develops giving it the pearling.
• Large colored stones can be made of different materials including stone, but may not be authentic rubies, emeralds etc.
• Natural emeralds and rubies are commonly ‘flawed’ which is usually easily visible with a naked eye. Flawless emeralds and rubies are extremely, extremely rare and equally just as expensive. So if the stone seems ‘perfect’ and you didn’t pay the equivalent of a car note for it… it is most likely not the genuine article.
• Natural stones when pressed against your face will feel cold, where synthetics will not be distinctly cold.
• Frosting. Look at the top of the stone (Called a table) and examine the edges of the facets around it. Often synthetic stones will have what is called ‘frosting’ which is the effect of the facet’s edges wearing out after repeated contact with other materials, such as your pants or coat pockets if the stone is on a ring. Natural stones don’t frost for many, many years, if ever.
• Colored stones are very difficult to validate without the formal training our on staff Gemologists possess and the proper equipment as we have in our locations.
• Lastly, if the colored stone is large, you may consider having it evaluated at GIA.
• The accurate authentication for a Rolex is involved and requires special tools.
• However, there are a few things that you can do. These will do more to help you identify that it is an imitation more so than confirm it is an authentic piece.
• Rolexes are heavy. If the Rolex you have is light in weight or what feels like the ‘normal’ weight for any common watch, then you should be concerned.
• Rolex’s reputation is deserved. Their quality control standards are impeccable. Using a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe if you have one, examine the dial (Face) of the watch and look for any imperfection. If you find one, it is not an authentic Rolex. Imperfections can be as slight as a minute misalignment of a number or faulty printing. If any printing is gapped, bubbled or has indication of bleeding, no matter how slight, then it is not an authentic Rolex piece.
• Imitation Rolex timepieces are the most common. In fact, some imitations can actually cost thousands of dollars to manufacture, but they are not Rolex. It is not unheard of for professional and well organized counterfeiters to invest a few thousand dollars in making a high quality imitation Rolex, because they will in turn, sell that fake Rolex for the discounted price of 20 or 30 thousand dollars!
• If you have any doubt what so-ever, we highly recommend that you let us examine the piece, the box and paperwork (certificates of authenticity) for you.
• Our same recommendation goes for all high-end designer / name brand items.