Jewellery Stories
By Niki Bruce
2 Apr 2020

How to tell the difference between real jewellery and fake jewellery

You need to know how to tell the difference between real jewellery and fake jewellery if you are a connoisseur of fine jewellery.

the jewel box difference between real jewellery and fake jewellery COLOURED GEMSTONES

Counterfeit jewellery can deceive even the most experienced jewellery buyers. These fake jewellery pieces can look as expensive as the real pieces, and sometimes they will even cost the same price. 

While it is rare for counterfeit jewellery to be sold from jewellery stores, buying online can leave you open to scammers and fraudsters, especially if the seller doesn’t have registration, trade certificates, or other links to official jewellery organisations.

You can avoid the trap of buying fake jewellery pieces if you take these tips to heart. 

How ‘real’ is the seller?

Be wary when you are on social media marketplaces or online auction websites. You need to be aware that these places are often not moderated or tied to official organisations or auction houses. For example, if you want to buy genuine fine jewellery online, make sure you use a reputable dealer like Sotheby’s, Christie’s, or Net-A-Porter

the jewel box difference between real jewellery and fake jewellery RUBY NECKLACE

These sites offer official documentation, secure payment options and letters of authenticity. They are also large organisations which you can track down to a physical address should you have any issues. Official auction sites and businesses will also offer insurance when shipping your items.

It goes without saying; if the price is too good, there’s a reason why. Fine jewellery is not cheap; so anything you find online purporting to be real jewellery but at half the price, is most likely to be fake. If you don’t know who the seller is, it really will be too good to be true.

If you are buying something that is not at the very top end of the jewellery market, for example an antique piece of jewellery, then you can sometimes take a chance on it being the real deal.

Make sure you check and recheck whether or not the seller is genuine. Research the seller’s feedback on various sites, double check the listing – make sure there are more than two images, from different angles, and also run the images through Google Images to make sure they haven’t been stolen from another website. 

At the end of the day, however, if you are looking to spend a lot of money you really are better going to a reputable jeweller.

Real jewellery will have authentication documents


The ‘hallmark’ is the symbol of precious metal purity – all jewellery sold as platinum, gold, palladium, and silver are lawfully required to be hallmarked in accordance with the Hallmarking Act. The hallmark on the jewellery authenticates and attests to the purity of the metal used in jewellery pieces, as well as for silverware. Because it is nearly impossible to judge the metal purity of an item simply by looking at it, the authorised hallmarking guarantees the level of purity and the standard of the jewellery piece you are buying. Hallmarking benchmarks are different for each precious metal. 


Branding is also crucial. Branded products, more specifically, high-end fine jewellery brands come with signature logos. When buying any designer jewellery, check for the brand’s unique logo.

the jewel box difference between real jewellery and fake jewellery GOLD RING

Though many sellers of fake jewellery have been successful with copying band logos which may appear eerily similar legitimate, a close examination can help you to spot the minute differences with the real logos. Look closely at the layout, fonts, and spelling; anything that looks wrong can reveal whether the logo of your jewellery piece matches with the real brand logo. 

Diamond Certifications

If your jewellery piece contains a diamond, it is essential that it comes with an authenticity certification from independent and distinguished diamond grading laboratories such as GIA, EGL or IGI. If the jewellery piece does not come with a diamond grading certificate, you must ask for one.

the jewel box difference between real jewellery and fake jewellery DIAMOND JEWELLERY

The refusal to give you this certification is a clear example of the piece being fake rather than a real jewellery. A reputable jeweller selling diamonds, will always be able to give you official documentation.

Telling the difference between real and fake jewellery can be very difficult, but if you use a bit of common sense and don’t get caught up in the possibility of a ‘great deal’, you won’t get burnt.

If you are unsure as to the quality of a piece of jewellery you have bought, you can contact our team to help with an appraisal. Call us at +65 6733 4100 to make an appointment at our atelier, at #05-04 International Building, 360 Orchard Road, Singapore 238869. 

Hi. This is Vinod.

Please allow me to help with any information about our products and services or to set an appointment.

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