Jewelry Counterfeits: The Age-Old Problem Just Keeps Growing
Jewelry counterfeiting has been around for as long as coins have been. The problem of forged money is not just that it is difficult to detect, but that, because it is impossible to tell if it is good or not, it is extremely valuable. If a piece of jewelry is even fake, it will likely be sold for much more than its true value.
In the early 1800s, the counterfeiters were mostly just amateurs. There was no law requiring people to be tested for expertise, but the general public was aware that they could purchase an object made with a false brand name, in hopes that it is in fact the genuine article. Today, the world is a lot more complicated.
There are now over 40 different designs, each requiring several steps to put together. There are over 100 different kinds of jewelry, each with their own codes. One of the most popular is the Tiffany box, named for the late Tiffany & Co., which features a delicate metal disc with a lock on it. It is difficult to tell whether a Tiffany box is real or fake by looking at it, but if it is taken out of the box it must be real, and you can still buy it for $2,000 or more.
One easy way to check for a counterfeit is to get a jeweler to check it for you. If it is a real Tiffany box, then he will just take it into a special machine and have everything go in by hand.
But the problem is most dealers won’t do this. They will not take a test. They will accept someone’s word, and tell you the box is genuine, but to be on the safe side you might want to take it to a jeweler for an expert look. A fake Tiffany box might be worth thousands, but a real box is priceless.
We have all experienced this. I know because I have worked for many of the most famous jewelers in the world, and I’ve watched the trade in our stores. I’ve never run into a counterfeit box that was worth more than the original. My customers have gone from buying ten for $20 each, to buying 200 for $100 each, to 300 for $500 each – and on and on. When you buy one for $2,000, it’s a steal, but if it is