Mother's Day is less than a week away. So if you're in the market for a bauble for your mom, we have the top tried and true simple tips to spotting fakes.
Gemologist Anthony LoRe works for the non-profit Provident Loan Society of New York. His job, make sure the jewelry that backs loans are as good as gold. Sometimes it's stamped, but not always.
"What I have here is one real gold and one fake," explained LoRe.
This appraiser's so good he can do his job with his eyes closed. Anthony says real gold doesn't sound tinny and weighs more than metal.
Here's another quick trick, use a magnet. Most metals stick. But real gold won't stick to a magnet.
Wondering if Grandma's pearls are plastic? Give 'em the teeth test.
"If you rub the pearly against the edges of your teeth," says LoRe. "You'll feel it."
LoRe says fake pearls will slide off smooth, but real pearls are gritty.
You can also use your sense of touch on stones like onyx or turquoise. LoRe says plastic is always warm to the touch, real stones are always cooler.
If you want to be 100 percent sure, heat a pin and prick it. Plastic will melt.
Anthony says stone size is a dead giveaway. In other words, if you find a gem that's big, odds are it's a fake.
"If this was a real ruby, it would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars," says LoRe.
Anthony says 99.9% of the time big gems are phony.
Another tell tale sign of a stone's value is an inferior setting.
"A stone set in sterling silver is not going to be real," LoRe points out.
Here's what to watch out for on luxury watches. Follow the second hand. Real Rolexes won't tick each second, like a battery-powered watch. They make one smooth, continuous movement. But be warned some good fakes also sweep.
Go to authorized dealers to be sure that watch is real and if you are unsure about any of your jewelry get an independent appraiser to take a look.