Tips For Recognizing Genuine Gems And Precious Metals At A Pawn Shop

28 April 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Not everyone wants to pay full price for good, authentic jewelry, and pawn shops are spectacular places to get gems and jewels for a fraction of the price. Many times people will sell their jewelry to pawn shops because it is an easy and fast way to get ready cash for their jewelry. The pawn broker will typically only pay a small portion of the actual value of the piece, and then when they turn around and sell it even for a very low price, they will still profit. However, it is very important that you know how to recognize authentic pieces when you buy. Here are some tips to tell if the jewelry you are buying is the "real thing".

Precious Metals

Almost all precious metals will be marked in some way with a stamp. For example, sterling silver rings will usually have the words "Sterling Silver" or "925" inside the band, and necklaces, earrings and bracelets may be marked on the fastener. Platinum, gold and other precious metals should also be marked. Gold will be marked with a number and the letter K – for example, a 14 carat gold ring may say "14k". Platinum will usually feature the letters "PT" and a number indicating the quantity of platinum.

Use a jeweler's loupe and always carefully inspect the piece for markings, and do not buy if you don't see a mark. Even if you think the piece is real gold or silver and it just isn't marked, it is best to err on the side of caution and only buy the ones marked.

The Gems

The hardest part is identifying a precious gem, because not all jewelry will feature a marking indicating that the gemstone is genuine. In some cases, you may find a jeweler's mark, and may be able to look the mark up online to see if the stone is genuine. Even if the metal used for the piece is genuine, this is no guarantee that the stone will be. However, most jewelry makers won't put a fake stone in a platinum setting, so the odds are higher that the stone is genuine.

Use a jeweler's loupe and look for occlusions in the stone. Occlusions are tiny natural flaws in a gemstone that are only found in genuine gems. If the stone is without any tiny striations, bubbles, or anomalies under the loupe, it is probably fake.

These are just a few tips for buying authentic jewelry at a pawn shop like Desert Jewelry Mart & Coins, and with identification practice, you can end up with some fabulous gems for terrific prices.