How to tell the authenticity of a Sterling Silver Tiffany and Co. jewelry piece and how to tell a fake

Highly sought after high end brands are unfortunately counterfeited sometimes. One of the most frequently counterfeited jewelry brands is Tiffany & Co. because it is in such high demand. Tiffany & Co. makes a lot of gorgeous, highly sought after and highly collectable Sterling Silver jewelry pieces. Today we are going to take a look at authenticating one. Telling if a piece is authentic or fake may seem like a difficult or daunting task but it is actually really quite simple once you know what you are looking for.

So first, it is important to understand what makes a Tiffany piece so special, many people believe when buying a brand name you are just paying for the name. In reality, you are paying for over 100 years of precision manufacturing, absolutely flawless work performed by expert jewelers who have dedicated a lifetime to perfecting a craft and making perfect and flawless pieces of jewelry. You are also paying for a rigorous Quality Assurance (QA) team, unrelenting prefectionists, whose entire job, entire profession, is to make sure if even the slightest or smallest flaw will never pass and never be offered for sale, it will be recycled and only truly flawless pieces will ever see the retail floor.

Now, contrast that with the sweatshop made counterfeit knockoffs. For counterfeiters, the goal is to steal and leverage the high quality brand, make a cheap knock off, and sell it for a profit to unsuspecting victims. Manufacturing perfection is expensive! To make affordable and cheap knock offs corners on manufacturing and QA need to be cut. If the factories producing knock offs had the machining capabilities, expertise, and QA to produce an absolutely perfect and flawless piece of jewelry they would be far better suited to build their own brand and make high quality jewelry working in competition with other high end brands.

When looking over a piece of Sterling Tiffany & Co. jewelry to verify its authenticity, a very good first step is to identify if it is actually Sterling Silver. If you have access to an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) tool that is best, it will tell you the exact metal composition of the piece, so you can quickly and easily identify what it is made of. Of course if it is stamped sterling or 925 and it is not actually sterling silver it is a counterfeit. If you do not have access to XRF the next best testing method is an acid test with a scratch stone. Testing acids and scratch stones are easily purchased online for $10-$20. How to use them in detail will be posted in another blog and is readily available online and in the instruction manual that comes with a testing kit, but basically they work because gold and silver are noble metals, very non reactive, whereas base metals like copper will readily react with strong acids, so if the metal dissolves away (reacts with the acid) it is not a noble metal!

If you don’t have any way to test metal purity, don’t sweat it, there are other ways to verify authenticity.

Okay, so now ideally we have tested for metal content, if it’s not sterling it’s obviously not Tiffany & Co., it’s a fake, don’t buy it! But some counterfitters will actually use Sterling Silver to make counterfeit pieces, so even if it’s sterling it could still be a fake.

If you suspect a piece is a counterfeit by looking at it, you are very, very likely correct that it is. Some part of you has already identified the flaws.

Identifying the flaws in a jewelry piece is the best and fastest way to verify it. Take a close look at the piece, use a jewelers loupe or magnifying glass if you have one, but it is not needed. What you are looking for is any flaw, anything! If anything could have been done slightly better, it’s a fake. Look at the links on the chain, can you see where they were soldered together? Tiffany famously and perfectly soldiers every joint, it is done so flawlessly you cannot tell which side of the link was soldered at all. Put yourself in the shoes of the meticulous Tiffany QA inspector, your entire job is to find even the slightest imperfection, that is what you are paid for, it is your profession and your lifetime vocation! After looking at the links, look at the lettering, could anything be slightly straighter? Is anything slightly off center? Is the lettering in perfectly even depth and size? What about other connections and soldering joints? Bubbles or unevenly applied soldier is a dead give away it’s a fake.

After a very thorough inspection, if any flaw was identified, if anything could have been done even slightly better it is 100% a fake. If it is absolutely flawless, gorgeous and perfect in every way, then it is authentic Tiffany & Co. It is too expensive and difficult to manufacture perfection, it simply can’t be done cheaply.

Hopefully this helps you identify and appreciate sterling silver Tiffany jewelry! Hopefully you can now tell if a piece you are considering buying is authentic or not, and now you know the rigorous authentication process we go through verifying every piece of jewelry we have before listing it on

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