All That Glitters: Telling Genuine Jewelry Apart from the Fakes

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Have you ever been to a thrift store, pawn shop, or estate sale and seen something shiny that caught your eye? Was it a rings, a bracelet, necklace, or something else that looked too good to pass up? Maybe you bought it and later found out it was nothing more than a sophisticated fake. Sorry, no refunds!

This reality is all too common in the world of fine jewelry and especially so when individuals are out looking to score valuables at discounted prices. How can you be certain that what you’re tempted to purchase will retain its value over time and not come to back to bite you? Luckily we’ve put together a few guidelines that will help you identify genuine jewelry and hopefully avoid the knock-offs.


No, not carrots (bad joke), but carats. These units of mass used for measuring the mass of precious metals and gemstones should be marked on real, fine jewelry. If there isn’t a carat marking, it would be best to leave the piece be.


Genuine jewelry typically has a stamp or “hallmark” somewhere on the piece. Rings in particular often have them if they are made with real precious metals. Look up “Essay” service stamps so you can become familiar with the genuine ones that may indicate piece of fine jewelry.

Who is Selling? custom jewelry in san antonio

This might be the easiest one to take note of early on – who is selling the item? Fine jewelry doesn’t typically make its way out of the hands of reputable owners that have invested quite a bit of money in them. That’s not to say that there aren’t gems lying in thrift store display cases across the country, but only that they are quite rare. Be especially wary of individuals trying to sell what seems like genuine fine jewelry as there is a chance it may be stolen.

Return Policies & Paperwork

If you really have a piece of precious, fine jewelry on your hands then the process should be more intricate than a simple exchange of money. Many reputable dealers will have return policies if for any reason you develop buyer’s remorse. Make certain you understand the terms as they will eventually expire.

Additionally, certain gemstones like diamonds will come with a certificate of authenticity from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). If one isn’t offered, ask for it. If one isn’t produced, move along!

We carry Custom Jewelry like no other.

Are you looking for fine jewelry that can’t be found anywhere else? Then you need to come into Gold Unlimited. We showcase custom jewelry that’s been handcrafted for individuality.

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What to Know when it comes to Jewelry Appraisal

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Does Gold Unlimited offer appraisals? Good question – yes we do! An appraisal is the process of determining the value of a gemstone or piece of jewelry. Never thought you may have needed one for your valuables? You’d be surprised that having one done could add more value to them, as well as encourage you to safeguard and insure them properly. However, like anything else, it is a good idea to know a bit about the process before just having anyone appraise your jewelry. Here a few tips to help you along the way.

How to Find an Appraiser

Many jewelry stores offer appraisal services, but not all appraisers are equal. You have a good chance of finding an appraiser that suites your needs by searching for appraisal associations online. Typically these organizations have nationwide and even international member members close to where you live. Going through an association with certified members also a way for you to safeguard yourself, as members have to uphold ethical and professional standards. These members will also be required to have correct certifications.

Signs of a Quality Appraiser

Jewelry appraisers should have experience and training in their craft. This training is sometimes referred to as gemological or appraisal training. It is also highly useful for them to know exactly how jewelry is made, so they’ll be able to tell quality craftsmanship from mass-produced items. A certified appraiser should have received a paper certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Your Appraisal Report

When you are given your appraisal, make sure you’re not just given a verbal mention of value. An official Appraisal Report is needed when certifying the item being appraised indeed holds the value being asserted. It is also something an insurance company would want to see as proof when you’re looking to protect your asset. Your appraisal should include:

When the appraisal took place
Your contact information
The purpose of the appraisal
Item(s) value
Limiting conditions and assumptions
Disclosure Statement
Signature of appraiser
Appraiser’s credentials
Anyone involved in the appraisal process

Find Your Value Today with a Jewelry Appraisal

Have you inherited family heirlooms that you suspect may be worth more than just their sentimental value? Looking to shop for the best insurance to protect your valuables? Then you need to come into Gold Unlimited today for an appraisal by one of our specialists. We’ve been in business for over 25 years in San Antonio and look forward serving you.

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