Urban heroines know the problem: When shopping around town for jewelry, the choice is huge. It is often not that easy to determine the quality of bracelets, rings and the like with the naked eye and to distinguish real jewelery from fashion jewellery. Even when rummaging through mom's or grandma's old jewelry collection, the question often arises: What is real jewelry? And what about costume jewellery? Most jewelry lovers know that real jewelry is the high-quality counterpart to so-called fashion jewelry. But what exactly differentiates the two jewelry categories from each other and how can you recognize real jewelry? fejn enlightens!
Real jewelry - that's how the name is defined
As the name suggests, real jewelery describes jewelry pieces with lasting value. But what exactly is real jewelry ? Genuine jewelery may be designated as such if the majority of the material composition used consists of precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum. Pieces of genuine jewelry not only look beautiful, but can also represent a long-term investment, depending on the precious metal content. Whether gold, silver or platinum, all real pieces of jewelry have one thing in common: the embossing. It is also called a "punch" or "punch" and is found in most cases in a hidden place. For example inside a gold or silver ring.
This embossing provides information about the fineness of the processed precious metal - in thousandths. For example, a gold ring with a 750 hallmark is 750/1000, i.e. 75%. Basically, the following applies: the higher the number given in the embossing, the more precious metal it contains. The remaining part of the piece of jewelry usually consists of other metals that are used for alloying – i.e. for mixing several precious metals. The common alloys in Europe that are recorded in the hallmark are 333, 585 and 750. Unfortunately, the hallmark alone is not reliable proof of the authenticity of jewelry, as it can also be a forgery. It is therefore better to take a very close look when buying jewelry. We'll tell you how.
How do you recognize gold?
Have you fallen in love with a supposedly real gold piece of jewelry, but want to be absolutely sure that it is made of high-quality material? How do you recognize real gold? If – especially with older pieces of jewelery – a color other than gold shines through at the edge, you are probably holding a gold-plated piece in your hands and the underlying material is recognizable. If possible, you can also do a water test. Real gold jewelry is heavy and sinks. If your piece of jewelery floats on water, it is not made of gold. A magnet will also help you to identify genuine gold jewellery . It's not magnetic. If the ring, necklace or bracelet is attracted by the magnet, it is a different metal. If you have a tile or other unglazed ceramic piece at hand, you can simply pull the supposed gold piece over it. If it leaves a thin trace of gold, real gold has been processed. But beware, danger of scratches! If in doubt, a jeweler will of course help you to identify gold.
By the way: If you have got hold of a piece of real gold, then proper cleaning and care is crucial. Because only carefully treated pieces of gold are beautiful in the long term.
How do you recognize silver?
If you are wondering when buying silver jewelry: " What is real silver jewelry? " or "How do I recognize silver?" there are also a few tricks beyond the embossing to recognize this as such. Like gold, silver is not magnetic. The magnet test also works with real silver jewellery. And another fact tells you whether the piece of jewelery of your dreams is made of the precious metal: silver tarnishes. With prolonged contact with air, it oxidizes with the air and discolours. This is a natural process, traces of which can be quickly removed with a silver cleaning cloth. However, if it is a new piece of jewelry, the chances are low that it already has dark streaks from tarnishing when you buy it. This test is therefore more suitable for inherited jewelry or flea market finds.
How else can I recognize silver? There is another way to test silver jewelry for authenticity. However, this involves some effort and easily damages the piece of jewelry. We are talking about the so-called acid test. You can order a matching set online, for example. When the acid is dripped onto the piece of jewelry, it provides information as to whether it is a real piece of silver jewelry. In the case of fine silver, the corresponding area will turn light red, sterling silver will cause a dark red discolouration and in the case of 800 silver the test area should turn brown. Of course, the acid test can only be carried out at home.
test passed? Perfect! Now all you have to do is treat the piece of silver jewelery professionally. This includes, for example, correct cleaning with a silver cleaning cloth or household remedies such as baking soda and baking powder.
What is costume jewelry?
Style icon Coco Chanel made the so-called fashion jewelery big as early as the 1920s. It is a type of jewelry that is designed according to current trends but has no material value worth mentioning. So it's real jewelry, but not real jewelry. Fashion jewelry should fulfill the purpose of briefly putting the wearer in the limelight - that's it! And there's nothing wrong with that at all. Nevertheless, you should be aware that fashion jewelry is of course of lower quality than real jewelry . Materials such as plastic, glass or inexpensive metals such as brass or tombac are used for its production in order to best replicate the real jewelery look. Of course, costume jewelry is much less durable than its real counterpart. Depending on the quality of the materials used, the pieces often discolor after a short time and break much more easily than pieces of jewelry made of real gold or silver. When it comes to sustainability, fashion jewelry should usually be viewed critically.
Sustainable genuine jewelery from fejn Jewelry
What is real jewellery? You don't have to ask yourself this question when browsing our online shop. Even if you can't try on our pieces of jewelry in the store before buying: With all fejn pieces you can be sure that you are getting timeless real jewelry made from recycled precious metals and responsibly manufactured. For example, we use 14K solid gold for our the glamorous collection . This is how it works with real jewelery shopping.