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  • 5 Signs of Quality Jewelry

    April 5, 2016

    Whether you are an estate sale shopper, enjoy perusing secondhand jewelry stores, or you have the opportunity to pick up some pieces from friends or family, you are probably intrigued by the idea of finding treasure in the form of high-end jewelry. However, to find these treasures, you must know how to recognize it. We’ve put together five things you should look at to help you identify exceptional pieces—and avoid the faux.


    If the piece has a hallmark, stating a certain gold or silver content, that is always a good sign. 24 karat gold is the purest form but often thought of as too soft to use for jewelry, except in plating. 18 karat is most common in fine jewelry. Silver will often be tarnished, but learning the “look” of silver tarnish and noticing how it can wipe away will help you identify silver from silver-tone metals.


    As mentioned before, a hallmark stating silver and gold content is an important sign to notice. However, brand marks are just as important. In many cases these marks are minuscule, so you may want to carry a small magnifying glass and see if you can check out the pieces in good lighting.


    One of the best ways to tell a real gem from glass is looking for scratches and wear. While a real gem may be dirty, it will not be scratched. Outside of this, learn what stones come in what colors. There are many high-quality gem guides online; refer to one of these to refresh yourself on what stones look like.


    While there are numerous ways to set a gem in metal, only two are commonly utilized in high-end pieces. If a piece is not set with prongs or bezels (i.e. it is attached with glue or set into the metal itself), it is most likely costume jewelry.


    On jewelry with gems, the mount can be a good detail to notice. High-quality stones will usually be mounted to allow light to shine in while costume jewelry is often created with a solid back (to hide the backside of the faux stone.)

    If you have found a treasure or two that doesn’t fit your personal style, why not bring it by Roy Herlz Jewelers and talk with us about selling your jewelry. We are one of New York’s best-known jewelry stores and specialize in fine quality estate pieces. We would love to check out your pieces and chat with you about your finds.


    We are interested in all kinds of precious jewelry, particularly diamonds of a carat or more. Please do not hesitate to contact us to make an appointment.

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