Congratulations! You just found an amazing deal on a real Tiffany bracelet. Or did you? If you've got a nagging feeling that bling isn't for real, you might be right. Fake Tiffany jewelry abounds on eBay, online wholesalers and street vendor booths. The seller might have a convincing story, but you should still do the research for yourself. Tiffany is pretty strict about quality, so quality is key when deciding whether you're getting a deal or a dud.
If It's Advertised On eBay
Look long and hard at the listing. The odds are against you: Tiffany sued eBay in 2004, claiming that three out of four pieces of jewelry for sale there were fake.
Check Tiffany.com and compare the bracelet to what's listed there. If the eBay photo is identical to the one on the Tiffany site, be suspicious. You can't tell anything about the bracelet unless the seller sends you real photos of the object you're bidding on, not images stolen from Tiffany.
Check the seller's history and feedback. If the seller is selling "real" Tiffany & Co. jewelry regularly, the odds are it's a big fake.
Get in touch with the seller and ask her why she's selling the piece. If she comes back with a story about how she got the bracelet as a present but it doesn't fit, she's lying. Tiffany has a 30-day return policy.
Reject any listing or seller that claims to have wholesale or outlet deals on Tiffany products. Tiffany doesn't have a wholesaler or distributor. According to Tiffany's website, new Tiffany jewelry is only for sale in Tiffany stores or at Tiffany.com.
Check the small details, either through seller photos or by looking at the bracelet if you're buying it on the street. Tiffany jewelry has excellent workmanship, so your bracelet should be absolutely perfect in every way.
Weigh the bracelet in your hand. Real Tiffany jewelry is made of .925 sterling silver, which feels heavy. If it feels light in comparison to its size, it's almost definitely a fake.
Look at the links. Links should be soldered, not pinched together. In fact, you should have trouble even finding where the link begins or ends.
Check the clasp. It should look absolutely perfect, feel solid and heavy, and have a .925 stamped at the base of the clasp.
Find the markings. Every Tiffany piece is stamped with "Tiffany & Co. 925," "T & Co. 925" or some variation. Some of theme even have the date they were trademarked. The markings will be very clear, thin and easy to read.